Univision Communications swung to a profit in the fourth quarter.
An investment group led by former Viacom CFO Wade Davis this week agreed to buy a majority stake in the Spanish-language media company, which has been pressured by debt since it was taken private..
Univision’s net income was $94.4 million, compared to a loss of $73.1 million a year ago.
Revenue rose 1% to $692.9 million.
Revenue for the company’s media networks segment rose 2% to $626.8 million. Ad revenue rose 1% to $340.3 million. Core advertising--excluding political and advocacy ads--rose 6% to $334 million. Local and national TV core advertising revenue rose 5% and digital core ad revenue rose 32%.
Non-ad revenue rose 2% to $286.5 million.
“In the fourth quarter, Univision’s network portfolio had the greatest growth in prime viewership and was the only network group to increase Total Day viewers among top-10 U.S. Media holders. This is a testament to the strength of the U.S. Hispanic Community and to our focus and execution in serving the greatest number of Hispanics every day, with consumption that rivals the most highly viewed English language broadcast networks,” said CEO Vince Sadusky.
Former Viacom CFO Davis will become CEO when the acquisition closes.
“As Hispanics continue to fuel the U.S. economy, distributors and advertisers, including political campaigns, are recognizing Hispanic consumers are critical to drive growth,” Sadusky said. “Looking ahead to 2020, we have begun the year with the largest ratings lead over our competitors in years, and anticipate a record first quarter in political advertising revenue, as candidates understand that 32 million eligible U.S. Hispanics will be the largest racial or ethnic minority group in the electorate.”
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