Cable Bolsters Viacom Results


New York-Pro forma revenue was up 7 percent and pro forma cash flow rose 22 percent for the third quarter at

Viacom Inc., driven mainly by increases in its cable-networks division.

In the first full quarter since closing its $47 billion acquisition of CBS Corp., Viacom reported revenue of $6 billion, up from $5.6 billion in the previous year. Cash flow rose to $1.4 billion, up from $1.2 billion a year earlier.

Cable networks, including MTV Networks and Showtime Networks, drove the growth. MTVN's pro forma revenue of $740 million was a 13-percent increase over the prior year, and cash flow growth was up 24 percent, to $375 million. Viacom said the increases at MTVN were due to double-digit growth in advertising revenue.

At Showtime Networks, revenue and cash flow increased by 15 percent and 22 percent, respectively, reflecting higher direct-broadcast satellite and cable subscriptions. At the end of the quarter, the premium-channel unit had 25.5 million subscribers, an increase of 3.2 million customers over the same period last year.

Viacom also said it would sweeten the terms of its planned purchase of the outstanding stock it doesn't already own in radio-station holding company Infinity Broadcasting Corp., to 0.592 shares of Viacom Class B common stock for every share of Infinity. Viacom had previously planned an 0.564 to 1 exchange ratio.