Spanish-language media giant Univision Communications on Thursday posted improved second-quarter earnings as its new CEO vowed to focus on the company's core business.
CEO Vincent Sadusky recently took over from Randy Falco. "While our foundation is strong, Univision has gone through a significant amount of change over the last few months," Sadusky said Thursday. "We are starting an exciting new chapter with a singular focus on our core business and mission: to inform, entertain and empower Hispanic America.”
He also said: "This is a company that I have long admired as one of the great franchises in U.S. media and for its important mission to serve the Hispanic community. Despite a rapidly evolving media landscape, the company has a lot to be optimistic about and an incredibly strong foundation to build from. We provide unparalleled access to a coveted and fast-growing consumer group with increasing buying power."
The company recently tapped Morgan Stanley to explore the possible sale of its former Gawker assets, which include the Gizmodo Media Group and The Onion. Univision also recently cut jobs, scrapped plans for an initial public offering and replaced its CFO.
The company on Thursday reported a second-quarter profit of $114.3 million, compared with a year-ago profit of $106.1 million, helped by a 3.6 percent decline in selling, general and administrative expenses "primarily due to lower employee costs and adjustments to share-based compensation," as well as a lower tax rate thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
The latest earnings included some special items, including a pretax restructuring/severance charge of $17.2 million and a non-cash pretax impairment loss of $9.1 million primarily related to the writedown of programming.
Second-quarter adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization decreased 7.5 percent to $304.1 million. Quarterly revenue fell 2 percent to $749.8 million, with advertising revenue down 7.3 percent to $434.0 million. Nonadvertising revenue, including carriage fees and content licensing, rose 6.5 percent to $315.8 million.
Media networks advertising revenue for the second quarter dropped 7.9 percent to $372.3 million, with Univision citing "overall softness in advertising spending, including declines in the television networks’ packaged goods, retail and restaurant sectors, and softness in the company’s local television business, including declines in the automotive sector."