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Sumner M. RedstoneThank you, Jim. Good morning to all. I am pleased to once again also join Philippe, Tom, Jimmy to discuss Viacom's quarterly results. Despite a choppy overall economy, it was in fact another successful period on both the top and bottom line for Viacom and we continue to use our creative resources, our financial discipline to deliver for shareholders. Our Media Networks are highly in demand all over the world. The creative minds behind our brands are constantly evolving our private property to ensure genuine connections in our industry [ph], new opportunities for our business partners. Paramount Pictures continued to have an unparalleled ability to market and distribute a great slate of motion pictures and ended the calender year, ranked #1 of all the United States box office, the #1 studio. We are indeed in a strong position [indiscernible]. None, of course, is impossible with our outstanding diligence. Our experienced management team skillfully execute our plans to provide value for creative content to audiences across the globe for the long-term benefit of our shareholders. Now I'd like to turn this call over to the leader of that team, a man who I appropriately call the wisest man I have ever met, my friend and colleague, Philippe Dauman. Philippe P. Dauman Thank you very much, Sumner. And good morning, everyone. I'm glad you could join us today. Despite headwinds in ad sales, Viacom ended the first quarter of our fiscal year with significant strength. Across the company, we have real momentum. Creative and operational excellence are showing through in every corner of our business and at this early stage, we are seeing ad sales improvement in the second quarter. We're continuing to invest in more and more original programming to strengthen our brand and their deep audience connections. It was true in 2011 and it will be true again in 2012. In fact, in our 2012 fiscal year, Viacom will invest about $3 billion in our Media Networks program. As a result, our Media Networks attract the most desirable audiences, making Viacom a first-choice partner for marketers and distributors alike. These investment and those relationships will drive our success quarter-after-quarter and year-after-year.
We continue to see strong affiliate growth as both existing and emerging distributors turn to our brand to fuel their products and services. We expect our affiliate revenue to grow on an annualized basis in the high-single to low-double digit for the foreseeable future. As we unlock value for our content across the platform, we're unlocking growth potential across global markets as well, expanding our footprint and margins internationally with our Media Networks and Paramount's rich film library. Creative success and operational discipline are hand in glove at Paramount Pictures and the studio remains focused on its strategy of releasing a streamlined slate of franchise tentpoles and reasonably priced films with box office potential, supported by one of the industry's finest distribution and marketing organization. And that strategy is clearly working as evidenced by Paramount's outstanding performance as the #1 studio at the worldwide box office in 2011.Finally, by operating efficiently, managing costs and seizing every opportunity to monetize our content, we continue to generate significant free cash flow and to make good on our commitment to return substantial capital to our shareholder both in the form of stock buybacks and dividends. This morning, I will briefly review our financial results for the first quarter and share highlights from our divisions. Tom and Jimmy will provide more detail, and then we'll gladly take your questions. Let's begin with the numbers. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com