Thursday 15 November 2012 8:00 pm

Viacom profits up despite lack of blockbuster

THE OWNER of MTV and Paramount, Viacom, yesterday said that it had defied slipping box office revenues and lower ratings at its TV networks to reach a $643m (£405m) profit in the third quarter of the year. This 12 per cent year-on-year rise came despite revenues falling 17 per cent to $3.4bn. The firm’s cost-cutting operation has saved it 26 per cent in expenses. The company put the drop in turnover down to Paramount’s movie release calendar. Sales at the division fell 39 per cent, with no blockbuster picture released in the quarter to compare to last year’s Transformers film. However, audiences on the US MTV network, which includes music channels as well as Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, have also fallen, resulting in lower advertising revenues. Despite this hit Viacom chief executive Philippe Dauman defended the network yesterday. “MTV is very healthy indeed,” he told analysts who questioned if it was in trouble.