Q1 Ad Sales Down 3% at Viacom

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As expected, continued softness in the advertising market dampened Viacom's fiscal first quarter, but strong affiliate fee growth helped buoy results.
Overall revenue was up 3% in the period to $3.95 billion and operating income was down 2% to $1.01 billion. Net Income was down 5% to $591 million in the [period ended Dec. 31, but earnings per share was up 4% to $1.06 per share.
Driving down the results was a 3% decline in both domestic and international advertising revenue, reflecting the continued overall softness in the market. At Media Networks, revenue was up 3% to $2.4 billion, driven primarily by a 16% rise in affiliate fees. Operating income was up 7% to $1.13 billion in the period.
"Despite short term softness in the overall ad markets, Viacom's quarterly results benefited from strong affiliate fee revenue growth, as our industry-leading portfolio of TV brands continued to attract traditional distributors as well as emerging digital services," said Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman in a statement.
Viacom was scheduled to hold a conference call with analysts at 8:30 a.m.

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