Clear Channel increases profit on lower revenue


Clear ChannelThere was a smaller number on the bottom line for Clear Channel in Q1 2013 than during the same quarter in 2012, but the OIBDAN result was printed in black ink. The growth in profitability is coming alongside the company’s pursuit of new initiatives.

Revenue declined $18M, or 1%, to $1.3B. Clear Channel said the cause was primarily due to foreign currency exchanges (about a $1M loss) and business divestitures that subtracted another $8M. Ignore them and the loss was halved and the percentage below 1%.

The company stated that the primary reason for the loss was challenges in its traffic business. It credited its station group for mitigating losses, particularly via the national and digital income streams.

OIBDAN could have been better as well were it not to the same two factors that impacted revenues. It was reported as a 2% increase to $267M, and was a 3% increase, those factors excepted.

Stated CEO Bob Pittman, “The strength of our businesses was clear in the company’s solid first quarter results, which included growing returns from our strategic investments in key digital assets. Across the company, we are creating unique, engaging solutions for clients that use our unparalleled multi-platform reach. With our advertisers, we are innovating new ways to use our assets to reach consumers more effectively wherever they are – which is increasingly out of their homes. Rather than staying in their connected homes as once predicted, people are now making more mobile connections than ever before. This trend toward the connected consumer plays to the strengths of Clear Channel in broadcast and digital radio and outdoor displays, and we are beginning to make progress in monetizing it.”

EVP/CFO Tom Casey added, “Thanks to our operating discipline, we contained costs and kept building momentum in our outdoor and our media and entertainment businesses during the quarter. We made solid progress in our broadcast, syndication and digital businesses. Our operating leverage in Americas outdoor drove strong results from last year’s investments, while International outdoor delivered double-digit topline growth from emerging markets. Companywide, past strategic investments are positively contributing to this quarter’s results, and we will continue to be proactive about investing in growth areas and refocusing our Outdoor business in Europe. We were also opportunistic in our capital management and successfully completed a private offering due 2021 to help pre-pay all of our 2014 bank debt maturities.”

The company says it has driven its total of iHeart registered users to 29M, and is continually adding to its pool of revenue-sharing partners in the recording community.