NBC Universal profits down 45%

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NBC Universal saw quarterly operating profit plunge 45% even as parent GE was posting better-than-expected results Friday and buoying Wall Street’s spirits. […]

GE chairman-CEO Jeffrey Immelt said in a statement, “While cable continued to deliver double-digit growth, NBC Universal had a tougher performance overall due to a soft advertising market and fewer major DVD releases compared with a year ago.”

NBC U topper Jeff Zucker contended that the profit dip had “nothing to do with the strength of our operations.” Zucker said profits would have fallen 15%, in line with forecasts, without one-time charges.

Those items included the expense of broadcasting the Super Bowl (compared with the prior year’s strike-suppressed costs at NBC), a writedown of the investment in Ion Media and the timing of film releases.

Revenue at NBC Universal slipped 2% to $3.5 billion, and operating profit was $391 million. GE reported only the 80% of NBC U it owns. Vivendi has the rest.

via – Variety.

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