NBC Universal Profit Down 6%26 Jan, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Despite record sales of more than 100 million DVD and Blu-ray units combined in the fourth quarter, NBC Universal, which includes Universal Studios Home Entertainment, reported a 6% decline in consolidated operating income, to $865 million, based on a 3% drop in revenues to $4.4 billion, according to a regulatory filing.
NBC Universal said strong disc sales of Mamma Mia! (No. 1 in Europe) were not enough to offset weaker-than-expected catalog DVD sales and a “tough” fall market for theatrical releases Changeling, The Express and Role Models, among others.
Parent General Electric said streaming site Hulu.com (a partnership with News Corp.) was a success, in addition to cable assets Bravo, SciFi, USA Networks, MSNBC (up 37%) and CNBC, up 14%.
It expects the NBC Universal to generate flat to 5% revenue growth in 2009.
GE said it would cut $1 billion in costs in fiscal 2009. The conglomerate said it would reduce its workforce, simplify organizational structuring, eliminate bureaucratic layers and exit non-core and underperforming businesses.
GE said the ongoing recession had resulted in an estimated $2 trillion loss of available institutional credit thereby reducing its liquidity levels.
The company generated its third-highest earnings ($18 billion) on revenue of $183 billion in fiscal 2008.