Radio revenues were down but so were expenses, allowing Spanish Broadcasting Corporation to write its Q4 OIBDA number in black ink. TV was up on both counts. Meanwhile, it is taking steps to repair its relationship with NASDAQ.
SBS’s Q4 2012 net revenues totaled $36.9 million compared to $38.2 million in Q4 2011, a decrease of $1.2 million or 3%. Radio revenues were down $1.4 million or 4%, due to special events revenue and network sales. That was offset by increases in national, barter, local and interactive sales. The decrease in special events revenue occurred mainly in SBS’s Puerto Rico market and the decrease in network sales occurred throughout most of its markets.
Radio station operating expenses decreased mainly due to special events expenses and music license fees, offset by an increase in local and national commissions and barter expense. Corporate expenses increased by $0.3 million or 18%, mostly due to an increase in professional fees.
The increases in national, barter and interactive sales took place throughout most markets and the increase in local sales was mostly in LA and Puerto Rico. SBS’s television segment net revenues increased $0.1 million or 3%, largely due to increases in paid-programming, local spot and integrated sales, offset by a decrease in barter sales.
Television station operating expenses decreased predominantly due to decreases in originally produced programming costs, compensation and benefits, facilities expenses and a reduction in broadcasting rights fees related to its former Puerto Rico and Chicago outlets.
Operating income totaled $12.4 million compared to $10.4 million for the same prior year period, an increase of $2.0 million or 19%. The increase in operating income was attributed to the decrease in operating expenses.
FY 2012, revenues totaled $139.5 million compared to $141.0 million for the same prior year period, resulting in a drop of $1.5 million or 1%.
Radio revenues decreased by $1.7 million or 1%, primarily due to decreases in national and network sales, and special events revenue, offset by increases in barter, interactive and local sales. The decrease in national sales took place mainly in the New York and Chicago markets and the decrease in network sales occurred throughout all markets. The decrease in special events revenue occurred in the Puerto Rico, Los Angeles and New York. The increases in barter and interactive sales took place throughout all markets and the increase in local sales was mainly in New York, Los Angeles and Puerto Rico.
TV revenues increased $0.3 million or 2%, largely due to increases in paid-programming, multicast channel rental revenue, barter and interactive sales, offset by decreases in national, local and integrated sales.
Operating income totaled $37.3 million compared to $38.2 million for the same prior year period, representing a decrease of $0.9 million or 2%. This decrease in operating income was attributed to the decrease in net revenues.
On October 3, 2012, SBS received a deficiency notice from NASDAQ advising that the market value of its Class A common stock for the previous 30 consecutive business days had been below the minimum $15,000,000 required for continued listing. They were provided an initial grace period of 180 calendar days, or until 4/1/13, to regain compliance with the rule. SBS didn’t regain compliance and on 3/29 filed an application to be listed on the NASDAQ Capital Market.
If the application is approved by, SBS’s Class A common stock will continue to be listed on the NASDAQ Global Market until it’s switched to the NASDAQ Capital Market, which is expected to happen this month.
“During the past year we continued to focus on strengthening our multimedia platform through prudent investments in our content, sales force and digital distribution assets,” said Raul Alarcón, Jr., Chairman and CEO. “Building on the strength of our brands among Spanish-speaking audiences in the nation’s top Hispanic markets, we made notable progress in expanding our presence in the live entertainment, mobile and online arenas, while maintaining strong audience shares across our radio clusters. We also continued to improve the performance of our TV division, which posted positive operating cash flow once again in the fourth quarter. Looking ahead, we remain very positive regarding the prospects of our business given the growth of the Hispanic population and the increasing need for advertisers to connect with our audience.”