Arbitron earns positive Q1


ArbitronFor the quarter, the company reported revenue of $111.8 million, an increase of 5.1% compared to revenue of $106.4 million during Q1 2012. Costs and expenses were $81.4 million, an increase of $6.2 million or 8.3% compared to $75.2 million in Q1 2012. In addition to the $3.2 million of expenses related to the pending Nielsen buy, costs in the quarter increased as a result of planned incremental investments in Arbitron Mobile panels, costs associated with address-based sampling, in-person recruiting, and cell-phone household recruiting.

EBIT (earnings before interest and income tax expense) for the first quarter 2013 was $28.0 million compared with EBIT of $28.9 million for Q1 2012. Excluding the costs for the pending Nielsen transaction, EBIT in the quarter would have been $31.2 million, an increase of $2.4 million or 8.2% compared Q1 2012, yielding EBIT margins of 27.9% as compared to 27.1% in Q1 2012.

EBITDA (earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization) was $34.7 million in the first quarter of 2013 compared with EBITDA of $36.6 million in the first quarter of 2012.

Excluding the costs for the pending Nielsen transaction, EBITDA in the first quarter 2013 would have been $37.9 million, an increase of $1.3 million or 3.6% compared to the first quarter 2012, with resultant EBITDA margins of 33.9% versus 34.4% in the first quarter of 2012

On 4/16, Arbitron’s shareholders voted to approve the proposed acquisition of Arbitron by Nielsen. The transaction remains subject to certain regulatory approvals, including expiration of the Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust waiting period, and customary closing conditions.

Said Sean Creamer, President and CEO: “In the first quarter, we continued to pursue our long-standing objectives: maintaining our investments in the quality of our radio ratings services, growing our core revenue, and entering new markets such as digital radio, cross-platform, and mobile. Our focus on the quality of our core services helped us achieve Media Rating Council accreditation of four additional Portable People Meter markets in February. Our goal remains achieving or maintaining accreditation in all our syndicated radio markets.”

He added, “We continue working to leverage our investment in the PPM technology and consumer panels utilizing our platform in new initiatives such as advertising and promotion effectiveness studies, while enhancing our measurement capabilities for radio and across platforms.”