Viacom yesterday reported results for the full year and fourth quarter ended December 31, 2001. For 2001, Viacom reported a 16 percent increase in revenues to $23.22 billion, but also reported a net loss of $224 million, or a loss of $.13 per share, for the year ended December 31, 2001, including a net loss of $43 million, or a loss of $.02 per share, for the fourth quarter.
Viacom recorded full year 2001 pro forma revenues of $23.20 billion and pro forma EBITDA of $5.07 billion, compared with pro forma revenues of $23.09 billion and pro forma EBITDA of $5.0 billion in 2000. Viacom’s 2001 pro forma EBITDA gain was in line with the company’s previously announced guidance and was paced by double-digit gains in the company’s cable networks and video segments.
Viacom Chairman and CEO Sumner M. Redstone said, “Viacom’s results clearly demonstrate our ability to excel under unprecedented negative economic conditions. We delivered on our promises in 2001, which is a tribute to the strength of our assets, the breadth of our leading brands, an, most of all, to the talent and commitment of our world-class management team, led by Mel Karmazin. Despite the continuing soft economic climate, we are committed to pushing ahead to aggressively generate internal growth and to pursue accretive acquisitions in our core competencies as demonstrated by the creation of our eighth television station duopoly with our agreement to acquire KCAL-TV in Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest broadcast market. Additionally, we continue to generate wealth for our shareholders through the purchase of Viacom stock.”
Mel Karmazin, president and chief operating officer of Viacom said, “We are proud of our performance in 2001, which was not only a record year for the Company, but one in which we delivered $3.0 billion in free cash flow, an 80 percent increase over the prior year. Virtually every one of our business units used its preeminent position and superior management to continue to outpace its competition and take market share in the worst economic environment in a decade. In 2002, we will continue to drive our businesses to outperform both creatively and financially and take full advantage of our brand and sales leadership.
“As we have proven, Viacom’s unique set of businesses, strong operational focus and disciplined financial philosophy enable the Company to grow even in an adverse and highly competitive economic environment,” Karmazin added. “Our very strong balance sheet also enables us to continue to take advantage of acquisition opportunities, like KCAL, while maintaining our investment grade rating. Sumner and I are confident that this successful combination of day-to-day focus and long-term vision, along with the significant investments that we continue to make in new programming and platforms, positions Viacom to perform well in an unfavorable economic environment and to accelerate its growth rapidly as the economy turns.”
As previously projected, the company believes that, if current economic conditions continue, Viacom will achieve double-digit pro forma EBITDA growth for the full year 2002. While economic trends in the first quarter of 2002 continue to mirror the soft conditions experienced in the fourth quarter of 2001, the company believes there is potential to outperform its current 2002 projection should the economic climate improve materially.