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Viacom hit by declines in film and theatre

First quarter sales dropped to US$3.07bn, down from US$3.32bn, in the three months to December as film and theatre went down by 28% and 48% respectively

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Viacom hit by declines in film and theatre

Media giant Viacom Inc’s (NYSE:VIA) fourth quarter revenues fell as it was hit by heavy declines in film and theatre income.

First quarter sales dropped to US$3.07bn, down from US$3.32bn, in the three months to December as film and theatre went down by 28% and 48% respectively, due to the number and mix of current quarter releases.

READ: Viacom, CBS to explore reunification of the two media giants

The company reported a 35% increase in net earnings to US$537mln from US$396mln though adjusted earnings per share fell slightly to US$1.03.

Across its networks, a 1% increase in advertising was offset by a 4% decrease in affiliate revenues.

Overall, Media Networks sales decreased 1% to $2.56bn, though international income increased 13%, primarily driven by the acquisition of Argentine network Telefe.

Bob Bakish, chief executive, said the company is on track to achieve US$10mln in new cost savings in the current fiscal year.

Last week,Viacom revealed talks with CBS Corp (NYSE:CBS) as a first step towards a possible reunification of the two media companies that split apart in 2005.

In separate but nearly identical statements issued late Thursday, both companies’ boards announced the formation of special committees to evaluate a potential combination.

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