Radio, TV Growth Fuel Narrower SBS Q1 Loss


Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) late Thursday reported its financial results for Q1 — one day before many companies conclude their fiscal Q4 and begin the process of tallying up the year’s earnings and expenses.

How did Miami-based SBS? Excelente, your Spanish teacher would say.

For the quarter ended March 31, SBS’s consolidated net revenue climbed 8%, to $33.9 million. Radio division revenue increased by 4%, to $29.3 million, while the Mega TV television arm saw revenue jump 49%, to $4.7 million.

The company’s adjusted OIBDA was also up, as radio OIBDA grew 31%, to $11.63 million, and TV OIBDA swung to 202% growth, to $658,000. Consolidated Q1 OIBDA was up 59%, to $9.4 million.

Operating income surged to $7.6 million, from $3.8 million in Q1 2017.

When all was said and done, the growth helped SBS in lowering its steep net loss from $10.84 million ($1.49 per share), to a net loss of $3.37 million (46 cents per share).

The strong performance was anticipated, as Chairman/CEO Raúl Alarcón Jr. noted Q1 2018 was the best ever first quarter in the company’s history.

“Revenues increased and costs declined across all of our major business units, resulting, once again, in operating margins that are among the best in the industry,” he said, adding that SBS remains focused on driving revenue and controlling costs “while maximizing the positioning and penetration of our unique portfolio of assets in serving the needs of the U.S. Hispanic consumer.”

When can investors expect to get a peek at SBS’s Q2 performance?

“We will be pre-announcing second quarter estimates, evidencing continued positive momentum,” Alarcón said.

Radio segment net revenues increased by $1 million thanks to increases in local, network and special events revenue. This was partially offset by decreases in national and barter sales. Local sales increased in SBS’s Puerto Rico and Los Angeles markets — great news as the commonwealth continues to return to normalcy following Hurricane Maria. Further, it helps SBS in Southern California, where the company has assailed Nielsen Audio over its handling of another PPM noncompliance matter, which impacted SBS’s KLAX-FM & KXOL-FM in L.A.

National sales decreased for SBS’s radio stations in New York and San Francisco markets.

Radio station operating expenses decreased mainly due to decreases in digital development and content production costs related to the LaMusica application, special events, barter, bad debt expenses and the impact of a legal settlement offset by increases in professional fees, advertising and commissions expenses.