In contrast with WPP Group [see above story], US media giant Viacom is optimistic about the ad outlook, having posted its best ever third-quarter results on the back of a double-digit jump in advertising revenues.

The group’s net income swung from a $190.4 million (€194.8m; £122.5m) loss in Q3 last year to profits of $640.3m – beating even the dotcom-driven boom of third quarter 2000. Driving this surge was a 10% jump in revenues from $5.7 billion to $6.3bn.

Viacom benefited from a 14% leap in TV revenues. Ad takings at its CBS and UPN networks surged 18%, while cable advertising climbed 16%. Radio revenues jumped 10%, with outdoor edging up 2% (the first time this division has posted positive results since Q4 2000).

What is more, there is every sign this will continue. Television ad sales booked for November and December are up 19% on last year, prompting chairman/ceo Sumner Redstone to talk of an advertising recovery for 2003.

For next year, Viacom predicts “mid-single-digit” percentage revenue growth and a “mid-teen” rise in operating income.

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff