Comcast Q2 up 32%

Comcast, the largest cable company in the US, has reported net income of $1.35 billion for the April-to-June period, up 32 per cent from $1.02 billion a year ago.

Revenue rose 6 per cent to $15.2 billion from $14.3 billion a year ago. Some of the increase was due to Comcast buying out another investor in the Universal Orlando theme parks last July. Excluding that effect, revenue rose 3.5 per cent.

In cable, average monthly fees were up 8 per cent from last year to $148.57, helped by customers upgrading to faster broadband speeds and getting more premium channels. Overall, cable revenue grew 6 per cent, demonstrating that Comcast continues to do better than smaller cable companies.

The company still lost 176,000 video subscribers in the quarter, the continuation of a long-running trend, as subscribers move over to satellite and phone-company services. But the rate of decline has slowed at Comcast, and executives suggested six months ago that they might actually add subscribers at some point this year. That was unlikely to happen in the second quarter, when college students traditionally cancel services for the summer.

At NBCUniversal, profits fell at the cable networks, which include Bravo, MSNBC and CNBC, and Universal Studios lost money on its would-be summer blockbuster movie, the expensive and critically panned ‘Battleship’.

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