As it awaits the outcome of a shareholder meeting to vote on being acquired, the industry’s biggest company said radio revenue was up 3% in the first quarter compared to the same period last year.
Clear Channel attributed that primarily to growth in national revenue and sales in the largest markets. “Overall, yield per minute increased during the quarter when compared to the same period of 2006,” it stated. “The company also increased its 15- and 30-second commercials as a percent of total commercial minutes sold.” Strong national ad sectors were services, telecommunications, retail and health and beauty.
Overall in the first quarter, Clear Channel reported revenues of $1.6 billion, up 8%; factoring out movements in foreign exchange it would have been 6%. Radio revenue was $820 million. CEO Mark Mays called the quarter’s results “solid.”
Clear Channel wants to be acquired by a group of private equity funds; a shareholder meeting is set for May 8. It is in the process of trying to sell off 448 radio stations in 88 markets; it has deals so far to sell 161 radio stations in 34 markets for $331 million. It also has announced plans to sell its television group for $1.2 billion.
President/CFO Randall Mays said deals to date would net the company approximately $1.4 billion after taxes and transaction costs.
Analyst John Blackledge of J.P. Morgan Securities said the company delivered “better than expected” radio and outdoor results. But Clear Channel radio is pacing down 1.6% for the second quarter and down about 1% for the year to date.