Holdings, owner of Clear Channel Communications, announced that total revenues were essentially flat at $1.3 billion in the first quarter of the year, as a modest increase in revenues at Clear Channel
Entertainment and Media, the company’s radio division, were largely offset by a small decrease in revenues at Clear Channel Outdoor.
CCME’s total revenues increased 2%
from $656.6 million in the first quarter of 2013 to $670.3 million in the first quarter of 2014, due largely to higher revenues at the radio division’s traffic and weather operations. That's
along with growth in national ad revenues, resulting from higher spending in the telecom, health care and automotive categories.
Digital ad revenues also increased, thanks to
increased listening at CCME’s iHeartRadio platform, where the total audience increased 66% to 47 million registered users at the end of the first quarter.
These gains were
offset somewhat by declines in local radio ad revenues.
Meanwhile, Clear Channel Outdoor’s Americas business -- which includes the U.S. and Latin America -- saw total revenues
fall 6% from $286.5 million to $268.8 million, due mainly to the absence of revenues from 77 digital signs in Los Angeles that were shut down by a court ruling last year, and the loss of some airport
advertising contracts by Clear Channel Airports.
On the other hand, CCO’s International business, including assets in Europe and Asia, edged up 1% from $363.7 million to $366.5
million. Together, the Americas and International divisions saw overall revenues fall 2% from $650.2 million to $635.2 million.
Clear Channel still carries $20.4 billion in debt, most
of it assumed in the transaction to take the company private engineered by private equity firms in 2007. The company also faces rising expenses as it services this debt: total interest expenses
increased 11.8% from $385.5 million in the first quarter of 2013 to $431.1 million in the first quarter of 2014.