The core radio business at Clear Channel grew 4% in a difficult economy thanks to its acquisition of Westwood One’s traffic business. Domestic outdoor also managed a 5% gain. But it was overseas where Clear Channel profits were riding the black ink express – that part of the business gained 19%.
Clear Channel’s domestic and international outdoor businesses both did better than radio. On the domestic side, it was only slightly better, with Americas growing $17M/5% to $341M. International was the big growth driver, increasing $71M/19% to $448M. Total revenues were $1.6B, up from $1.49B during the comparable quarter in 2010. Radio’s 4% gain took to $781M.
CC EVP/CFO Tom Casey noted that visibility is limited, but given that he does not expect the company to sustain the same growth rate in Q3. The company is looking at a 3% gain in domestic outdoor and a 2% gain in international during the next quarter.
Casey noted that in general, European economic woes were affecting results there, and said that the company’s bright spots include China, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand.
A big factor driving growth is the increasing inventory of digital boards. The company is expecting $350M in capex for the year, and fully 80%-85% of that will be directed to the outdoor side of the business. Clear Channel expects to increase digital board portfolio by 160 by year’s end.