Clear Channel Wraps Up Year of 'Investment and Change'

Clear Channel Wraps Up Year of 'Investment and Change'
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Radio's biggest owner, Clear Channel Communications, brought in a bit less money overall in 2005 than the year before.
The parent company reported revenues for all of its businesses of $6.61 billion, down from $6.63 billion for the same period in 2004. Revenues in the fourth quarter were down 1%. President/CFO Randall Mays described 2005 as one of "investment and change."
Radio revenue fell 6% for the year, but the company said radio ad inventory yield/pricing increased throughout 2005 (see related story, below). Outdoor revenues increased 9% during the year.
CEO Mark Mays said the company returned $1.4 billion in capital to shareholders in 2005 through share repurchases and dividends. He said Clear Channel is "pleased with the recent progress in our radio division" and said he has renewed confidence in its long-term growth outlook.
"Listenership and ratings all continue to trend up. As we look into the first quarter of 2006, we see the first real financial benefits to our approach. We have attracted incredible talent to radio over the past year, launched new and exciting formats, embraced and benefited from new technologies and delivery methods, and fundamentally improved the listening experience." He said trends in its outdoor and TV businesses are also positive.
According to the company, other recent highlights are the completion of an IPO of part of Clear Channel Outdoor and the tax-free spinoff of its live entertainment and sports rep business.
For the year, the company's income was $635.1 million before discontinued operations and the effect of a change in accounting principle, compared to $796.8 million in 2004. Net income was $935.7 million, compared to a net loss of $4 billion in 2004, the result of a change in accounting principle.

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