Clear Channel parent reports an up quarter


Clear ChannelCC Media Holdings reported that Q1 revenues increased 3% to $1.36 billion. The biggest gain was by the radio division, Clear Channel Media + Entertainment (CCME), but that 6% gain to $671.5 million included revenues from the addition of Metro Traffic. Without that, how did the quarter come in?

CCME revenues were up $38.5 million from Q1 a year ago. But the company said $32 million of that came from Metro, which it acquired from the former Westwood One. Excluding that, RBR-TVBR calculates that CCME’s revenues were up about 1% for the quarter.

Revenue increases came from “national advertising across various markets and advertising categories, including financial services, political and retail,” the company reported.”In addition, revenue from the Company’s digital radio services rose as a result of higher volume,” it added in a release ahead of the quarterly conference call with Wall Street analysts.

“Operating expenses grew $46 million during the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same period of 2011, resulting mainly from a $35 million increase related to the Company’s Traffic acquisition, including severance costs associated with the integration of the business. The Company’s digital initiatives led to higher expenses in connection with the February 2011 purchase of a cloud-based music technology business that has enabled the Company to accelerate the development and growth of the next generation of iHeartRadio digital products, including the iHeartRadio Player,” the company said of its 11% increase in operating expenses.

Operating income before depreciation, amortization and non-cash compensation (OIBDAN) for CCME declined 3% in Q1 to $215.4 million.

For the Clear Channel Outdoor business, US revenues rose 4% to $280.2 million and OIBDAN declined 1% to $85.1 million. International outdoor revenues were down 2% to $371.1 million and OIBDAN plunged 58% to $22.1 million.

All in for CC Media, consolidated revenues rose 3% to $1.36 billion. Operating expenses increased 9% to $1.03 billion. Consolidated OIBDAN, including the impact of corporate overhead, declined 17% to $26.4 million.

“Since the start of 2012, we have continued to invest in our rapidly growing digital products and services, while strengthening our operations to better serve our marketing partners and our consumers,” said CEO Bob Pittman. “We have enhanced our ability to help our partners take advantage of the unique size and scale of our media, entertainment and outdoor assets, with a particular focus on multi-platform solutions that no other company is able to deliver,” he added.

“Despite the slow advertising recovery, we generated growth of 3% in revenues during our traditionally slow first quarter,” noted CFO Tom Casey. “As a result of a successful debt offering by a subsidiary of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc., we were able to apply the special cash dividend proceeds received to enhance our debt maturity profile and liquidity by paying down debt due in 2014. During the remainder of 2012, we plan to continue to invest strategically in our infrastructure, while closely managing our costs.”