Viacom 4thqtr profit rises helped by higher advertising revenue success of World

Viacom 4th-qtr. profit rises, helped by higher advertising revenue, success of ‘World War Z’ by Bree Fowler, The Associated Press Posted Nov 14, 2013 5:46 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK, N.Y. – Viacom’s fourth-quarter profit rose 24 per cent, helped by the success of the film “World War Z” and greater advertising revenue.President and CEO Philippe Dauman said Thursday that in addition to the box office success of the zombie movie starring Brad Pitt, the company’s film division also got a boost from home movie sales related to its Star Trek and GI Joe franchises.The New York company, which owns Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures, earned $804 million, or $1.68 per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30. That’s up from $650 million, or $1.26 per share, in the same quarter the year before.Excluding a gain on the sale of some investments, restructuring charges and other items, Viacom’s earnings from continuing operations for the quarter ended Sept. 30 totalled $1.55 per share.Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of $1.44 per share.Revenue climbed 9 per cent to $3.65 billion from $3.36 billion, beating average Wall Street predictions of $3.58 billion.Revenue from media networks increased 7 per cent to $2.46 billion, as domestic advertising revenue and affiliate fees rose, while filmed entertainment revenue increased 11 per cent to $1.21 billion on increases in box office revenue and home entertainment sales.Dauman noted that ratings rose year-over-year at nearly all of the company’s networks during the recent quarter, including Nickelodeon, MTV, comedy central, BET and Spike.Higher ratings allow networks to charge more for advertising.For the current quarter, Viacom said it expects “mid-single-digit” growth in advertising sales, helped by new programing that it thinks will draw in viewers.The company also said it still expects affiliate revenue growth in the “high-single-digit to low-double-digit range” for fiscal 2014.For the full fiscal year 2013, Viacom earned $2.4 billion, or $4.84 per share, up from $1.98 billion, or $3.69 per share. Revenue fell slightly to $13.79 billion from $13.89 billion.Viacom shares fell $1.35, or 1.6 per cent, to $81.81 in midday trading. They are up 53 per cent so far this year.___AP Business Writer Michelle Chapman contributed to this report. read more

Hungarian government fuels discrimination against migrants say UN human rights experts

The experts expressed concern in a statement released on Tuesday, following the adoption of legislation which the Hungarian Government has named the “Stop Soros” law, imposing further restrictions on the right to seek asylum, and making it practically impossible for asylum seekers to submit asylum claims and regularise their migratory status.The Government’s name for the law is a reference to Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros, whose Open Society Foundations (OSF) are committed to “build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people”, according to the OSF Website.OSF has reportedly moved its Budapest branch to the German capital, Berlin, writing in a May statement that it was leaving Hungary because of the “increasingly repressive political and legal environment.”Under the measures, individuals or organisations can also be sent to prison for “supporting and facilitating illegal immigration.”Additional laws levy a special 25 per cent tax on NGOs who engage in “immigration activities”, restrict assembly, and impose restrictions on the work of civil society.The experts noted that the Government is encouraging regular and widespread threats to human rights defenders in Hungary, saying: “Since the last general election, the Government has engaged in smear campaigns against civil society, particularly in connection to migration issues, discrediting and intimidating dissenting voices, notably through its own agencies and through the public media.”These attacks, combined with the current legislation, they continued, run counter to Hungary’s obligations under international human rights law and represent a serious breach by Hungary of the obligations and values that found the European Union, of which it is a member.“We call on the European institutions to continue addressing the deteriorating human rights situation in Hungary and keep on taking decisions reflecting the core values of the European Union: democracy, the rule of law and the protection of human rights.”A number of international and inter-governmental institutions have condemned the legislation, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the European Commission.The European Parliament is reportedly discussing whether to launch disciplinary proceedings against Hungary, due to its policies on issues such as migration. read more