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Viacom Posts Gains in Q4, Full-Year 2007

Viacom reported a 16% increase in fourth quarter net earnings to $559.5 million on a 19% spike in revenue, which rose to $4.25 billion, driven by sharp gains in both its media-networks and filmed-entertainment divisions.

For the full year, the company’s revenues rose 18% to $13.42 billion, yielding net income of $1.84 billion, a 15% gain. For the three-year period from 2008-10, Viacom said it expects to deliver low-double-digit growth in diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations, based on EPS of $2.36 in 2007.

Revenue in the media-networks segment -- which includes MTV Networks, BET, Nickelodeon, TV Land and Comedy Central -- rose 18% to $2.45 billion for the quarter, producing a 15% increase in operating income. For the full year, the segment’s revenues climbed to $8.1 billion, a 12% gain.

The filmed-entertainment division produced 19% and 28% increases in revenues for the quarter and full year, respectively.

“We made substantive changes domestically and internationally to enhance our operations, from programming development and advertising to digital initiatives and new branded-business ventures,” president and CEO Philippe Dauman said in a statement. “Our investments in original programming paid off, driving ratings gains and putting us in a strong position to grow advertising revenues. By increasing our capability and reach in the digital arena, we comfortably surpassed our goal of generating $500 million in digital revenues for the year.”

Viacom currently operates more than 300 online properties and about 150 channels worldwide. Its film business includes Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks.