Cable Nets Boost 2Q Earnings at CBS

Publish date:
Updated on

Cable operations helped to drive record revenue and
earnings at CBS Corp. in the second quarter ended June 30.

Net revenue for the quarter was $1.7 billion, up 13 percent
from the previous year, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization
(EBITDA) increased 55 percent to $427 million.

Sales at the cable segment -- which includes The Nashville
Network and Country Music Television, as well as regional sports networks -- increased 4
percent in the quarter to $156 million. Operating profit in the cable division rose 83.3
percent to $44 million, and EBITDA was up 40 percent to $70 million.

Including special items -- a $24 million restructuring
charge for the television segment and another $24 million charge for losses associated
with a previously divested cable unit -- EBITDA in the quarter was down 8 percent to $46

In the six-month period, sales at the company were $3.4
billion, up slightly from the previous year. However, excluding revenue associated with
the 1998 Winter Olympic Games, net revenue for the six-month period increased 16 percent.

Companywide, EBITDA in the six-month period was up 29.5
percent to $707 million.

Cash flow for the company during the first half of the year
was up 28 percent to $699 million. In the cable-television segment, revenue rose 4 percent
to $286 million and EBITDA without special items increased 52 percent to $120 million.

"I am very pleased with the company's record
operating performance," CBS president and CEO Mel Karmazin said in a prepared
statement. "The gains made in our television segment were dramatic, with EBITDA
growth of 81 percent during the quarter and the first network primetime win in five