Univision Communications Posts Fourth-Quarter Loss

Randy Falco Executive Portrait 2011

The Spanish-language media giant, led by CEO Randy Falco, says it expanded its average monthly reach across all platforms to 45 million consumers.

Univision Communications swung to a fourth-quarter net loss, but its other financial metrics improved.

The Spanish-language media giant on Tuesday reported a loss of $136.2 million for the fourth quarter, compared with a year-ago profit of $172.2 million when a much bigger benefit for income taxes boosted the bottom line. That benefit amounted to $99.5 million in the latest quarter, down from $467.9 million in the year-ago period.

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Restructuring, severance and related charges hit $27.8 million in the fourth quarter, up from $13.5 million in the year-ago period.

On an operating basis, Univision’s quarterly loss narrowed from $132.1 million to $88.2 million. Adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA), another profitability metric, rose 13.5 percent to $336.2 million.

Quarterly revenue increased 4.5 percent to $727.7 million. compared with $296.1 million for the same period in 2013. Fourth-quarter revenue rose 0.9 percent in the company’s TV segment and 138 percent in digital, but radio revenue fell 1.3 percent.

Full-year 2014 revenue jumped 10.8 percent to $2.91 billion, with the FIFA soccer World Cup contributing an estimated $174.2 million of incremental net advertising revenue and an estimated $22.1 million of OIBDA.

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“As a mission-driven company, we continue to focus on driving consumer engagement, empowering our audience and delivering culturally relevant content across our platforms throughout Univision Communications,” said Univision president and CEO Randy Falco, who recently extended his contract. “This focus allowed us to drive innovation and deliver strong financial performance.”

He added: “In 2014, we estimate, based on external and internal sources, that we expanded our reach across all platforms on average to 45 million consumers monthly, not including our estimated World Cup reach, representing a 10.1 percent increase from 2013.”

The company also cited the strength of its broadcast networks Univision Network and UniMas, formerly known as Telefutura, as well as cable channels Galavision and sports-focused Univision Deportes.

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai