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Clear Channel: Radio Off 1%, Stronger Months Ahead

Clear Channel: Radio Off 1%, Stronger Months Ahead

Clear Channel Chairman/CEO Lowry Mays said his company enjoyed record financial results in 2003, with revenues of nearly $9 billion and more than $1 billion in net earnings.
Radio revenue alone, however, dropped 1% in the fourth quarter to $965.8 million and fell 1% in the year to about $3.7 billion. The company blamed weak local advertising, the loss of sports rights such as those of the Los Angeles Dodgers, its halt in doing business with independent promoters and a drop in nationally syndicated business.
It expects radio revenue to increase 3 to 5% in the first quarter. President/COO Mark Mays said the company believes the economic environment is improving.
Clear Channel Communications, including all divisions, saw revenue increase 4% in the fourth quarter to $2.29 billion. For the year, it had revenues of $8.93 billion, up 6%.
Mark Mays, president and COO, said the company benefited from a focus on profitable revenue streams. It also reduced debt by approximately $1.8 billion and instituted a dividend for shareholders.
The company is projecting that its overall operating income will increase in the low double digits and earnings per share will increase in the mid to high teens for the year 2004.