Auto gains for Univision TV, but radio soars


The Hispanic media giant had a pretty good Q4 overall, with revenues up 6.1% to 544.3 million and operating income up 10.9% to 512.8 million. TV revenues outpaced the industry, gaining 4% for the quarter. But Univision Radio posted exceptional results, with revenues up 13.3%, Univision Online revenues rose 16.8%.

Those TV revenue gains were fueled by the auto sector, which was up 16% for the quarter. Looking ahead, President Ray Rodriguez is optimistic that Univision’s TV stations will receive much more political spending this year than in the past.

Univision cited cross-promotion of its radio stations on its TV stations for helping to build radio ratings. And the radio sales force was commended for outstanding performance.
CFO Andrew Hobson said Q1 pacings are up mid single digits for both radio and TV.

For the full year 2007, Univision reported that net revenues increased 8.4% to $2.072 billion from $1.912.0 billion in 2006, excluding 2006 FIFA World Cup estimated incremental net revenues of $113.6 million. Including World Cup incremental revenue in 2006, net revenue increased 2.3% and adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization increased 7.8% to $863.2 million in 2007 from $800.6 million in 2006.

For 2007, radio revenues rose to $429.9 million from $381.6 million. TV revenues were down slightly to $1.6 billion, sans the political ads of a year earlier and Internet revenues, though still a small component, jumped dramatically, to $46.3 million from $38.3 million.

"2007 has been a tremendous year for Univision and I’m incredibly proud of all we have achieved. From the smooth transition to new ownership, to reorganizing and refocusing our advertising sales structure, to implementing a host of initiatives to inform and educate our audience, we achieved many milestones while cementing Univision’s position as the leading Spanish language media company," said CEO Joe Uva.

RBR/TVBR observation: The election windfall has been only a mild breeze for Univision in the past, but that is likely to change this year. Hispanic voters are being courted heavily in the Democratic primaries, which continue to be a real horse race. And, once the nominees are selected, those voters will be coveted by both parties for the fall general election.