iHeartMedia Reports Second Quarter Financial Results

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Broadcaster sees continued recovery in commercial advertising market

iHeartMedia, radiosiHeartMedia says it is positioned to return to income levels last seen in 2019 by the end of this year as the company continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its second quarter 2021 earnings call on Thursday, the nation’s largest broadcasting company announced a 77% year-over-year increase in revenue to $ 862 million for the quarter ending June 30.

The company’s multiplatform group, which includes nearly 860 radio stations, continued to rebound from the pandemic amid the return of the commercial advertising market. The company says segment revenue increased nearly 70% from the same period in 2020 to $ 605.8 million. For comparison, iHeartMedia disclosed second quarter 2021 revenue down 21% from second quarter 2019.

[Read: iHeartMedia Continues in Recovery Mode]

Specifically, radio broadcast revenue grew nearly 85% in the second quarter year-over-year on a reported basis, while iHeartMedia’s network activity, which includes Premiere Networks and Total Traffic and Weather Network, increased 28 , 3% compared to the second quarter of 2020.

Podcasting remains a strong point of the company. IHeartMedia chief executive officer Bob Pittman spent much of his time on Thursday’s earnings call looking at the Digital Audio Group, which includes all digital assets like podcasting. The group posted a 112% year-over-year increase in second-quarter revenue to $ 197.9 million. Podcasting revenue increased another 152% compared to the same period in 2020.

Building iHeartMedia from its technological capabilities continues, Pittman said, but it’s not just podcasting that is catching the attention of advertisers. The company continues to invest in the expansion of broadcast radio into digital devices, he said. “We have invested in broadcast radio to make it look digital to the advertiser. When you look at the unique reach that we have with broadcast radio and having the ability to take that digital, and put it into a digital purchase, at a very cost effective price, ”said Pittman

The broadcaster’s audio and multimedia services segment, which includes Katz Media Group and software provider RCS, saw revenue increase 55.9% in the second quarter compared to the comparative period a year earlier, due to the continued resumption of the negative impact of COVID-. 19 pandemic, according to the company’s financial report filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

Pittman said during Thursday’s earnings call that iHeartMedia still faces uncertainties, but “based on what we see, we remain confident that we will return to adjusted 2019 EBITA levels by now. the end of 2021 “.

The broadcaster, which came out of bankruptcy in 2019, continues to centralize its resources in its Center of Excellence; and its filing with the SEC on Thursday indicates that the savings from the effort could be substantial.

IHeartMedia President / COO / CFO Rich Bressler said during Thursday’s earnings call that capital spending will be high in 2021, mainly due to the proactive streamlining of the audio company’s real estate footprint. . The company is forecasting an ex cap of $ 165-185 million in 2021, then a return to normal levels in 2022.

“The [real estate] The program made some real estate assets redundant, allowing the company to sell those assets to partially offset the expense of the initiative, ”Bressler said. “The real estate program is a company-wide effort to take advantage of new technologies and adopt new best practices to make our office spaces more efficient.”

At the end of the real estate project, the company’s experts must reduce the area occupied and the rent and related expenses by about 50%, Bressler said.

iHeartMedia continues to target debt reduction, Bressler said Thursday. The broadcaster announced in July that it had made a voluntary prepayment of $ 250 million in debt. The majority of the prepayment was used to prepay part of iHeartMedia’s $ 2.07 billion term loan, according to the iHeartMedia SEC filing. As of June 30, 2021, the company had total debt of nearly $ 6 billion.


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