April 02, 2020

By Adam Jacobson

With furloughs and layoffs clouding the efforts of media companies who continue to excel during one of the most difficult eras for the U.S. since World War II, thanks to the novel coronavirus pandemic, some good financial news is most certainly welcomed.

Look no further than the Q4 and full-year 2019 results released late Tuesday (3/30) by Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS).

In the words of Chairman/CEO Raúl Alarcón Jr., SBS delivered “outstanding Q4 results which, in turn, contributed to our best annual financial showing in over 15 years.”

Radio segment net revenue, ex-political, surged by 21% to $40.74 million, from $33.67 million, even as national dollars were off. Television, which includes the Mega TV operation, enjoyed a big bump in dollars, ex-political, to $5.06 million from $3.25 million. The TV growth was also fueled by local advertising.

Put it all together, and consolidated net revenue ex-political increased by 24%, to $45.8 million from $36.9 million.

Political dollars only contributed slightly more to SBS’s bottom line: Radio net revenue grew to $40.82 million from $35.61 million, while TV net revenue increased to $5.3 million from $4.03 million. Consolidated net revenue was $46.12 million, rising from $39.65 million.

Then, there is the all-important adjusted OIBDA: With political dollars included, consolidated OIBDA was $20.1 million, up from $17.4 million.

Operating income improved to $17.3 million, from $14.3 million.

These numbers are important to look at, as SBS in Q4 2018 enjoyed a $9.13 million income tax benefit, making net income comps difficult. It explains why net income moved to $5.12 million (70 cents) from $13.19 million ($1.80).

For the full-year 2019, consolidated net revenue improved by 10%, to $156.67 million, as consolidated adjusted OIBDA increased by 2%, to $51.28 million.

That said, the coronavirus crisis has impacted SBS. Where the company goes from here is still uncertain, however.

Luckily, says Alarcón, “fiscal 2020 started off exceptionally well and, as a result, we’re confident of a strong rebound later in the year as our industry, our nation and the world eventually recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

For now, Alarcón says SBS is adapting operationally, financially and strategically at all levels and in all markets “so as to protect our personnel while continuing to inform, entertain and serve audiences and advertisers in anticipation of a surging demand for ad inventory and rescheduled live events as the year progresses.”
About Author

Adam R Jacobson is a veteran radio industry journalist and advertising industry analyst with general, multicultural and Hispanic market expertise. From 1996 to 2006 he served as an editor at Radio & Records.

Courtesy of Radio + TV Business Report

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