Double-Digit Gains All Around for Viacom

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Viacom Inc. Thursday reported record results for the first quarter of 2004.

Revenues rose 12% to a record $6.8 billion from $6.1 billion for the same quarter last year. Operating income jumped 20% to $1.2 billion from $987 million. And net earnings saw a 60% gain to $711 million, or $0.41 per diluted share, from $443 million ($0.25) in the prior-year period.

“Our overall advertising revenues in the first quarter grew 21%, paced largely by the extraordinary gains in our cable-networks and television segments, which are hitting on all cylinders as they enter the upfront ad-sales season,” president and chief operating officer Mel Karmazin said in a prepared statement.

“Programming investments are clearly paying off as ratings gains drove first-quarter revenue increases in cable networks and television of 21% and 18%, respectively, and resulted in respective operating income gains of 24% and 38%,” he added.