As Cumulus Media waits to acquire two other radio groups and become a $4 billion-plus company it has been growing revenues and cash flow on its home turf. Q1 revenues were up 2.7% to $57.9 million.
Within that number, broadcast revenues were up 2.5% to $56.7 million for the radio stations – generally in medium and small markets – already owned by Cumulus Media. The rest of the gain came from management fees that Cumulus Media received from Cumulus Media Partners (CMP), up 12.5% to over $1.1 million. Cumulus Media, which owns only a minority stake in CMP, has a deal pending to acquire full ownership of the large market radio group.
Station operating expenses were down 5.9% in Q1 to $37.6 million, so station operating income (SOI seems to be replacing broadcast cash flow, BCF, as the preferred term) shot up 23.6% to $20.3 million. Free cash flow ballooned by 90.8% to $1.7 million.
CEO Lew Dickey later told analysts that EBITDA at CMP was up 4% for Q1, excluding one-time legal expenses, most related to the pending merger.
Cumulus Media also has a deal pending to acquire Citadel Broadcasting. To finance the two big acquisitions Cumulus Media just last week sold $610 million in bonds. The company says it has commitments for up to $500 million in new equity, as well as $2.525 billion in senior financing.
RBR-TVBR observation: Certainly a better Q1 than at Citadel Broadcasting, where revenues were down. Lew Dickey and his team must be champing at the bit to take over Citadel, but that’s still months away.