PPM drove Q4 revenue growth for Arbitron


Arbitron ended 2011 with Q4 revenue up 7.6% to $120.1 million. Operating income increased 8.8% to $20.7 million.

“Revenue in the quarter benefited from the continued phase-in of contracted price increases for the Company’s Portable People Meter (PPM) radio ratings services and increases in the sales of discretionary services,” the company said ahead of its quarterly conference call by management.
Costs and expenses for Q4 increased 7.3% to $99.5 million in 2011. The increase was primarily due to increased cost of revenue associated with providing PPM and Diary services, operating costs incurred by Arbitron Mobile, as well as year-over-year increases in performance and share-based compensation.

Q4 net income was $14.1 million, down from $15.6 million a year earlier, largely due to a $3.5 million non-cash impairment charge for a minority stake in a privately-held research firm (TRA Global) and a $2.1 million operating loss for Arbitron Mobile (formerly Zokem Oy).

EBITDA for the quarter was down slightly to $32 million from $32.8 million a year earlier.

Arbitron is expecting revenues to rise 5-7% in 2012 after growing 6.8% in 2011 to $422.3 million.