Comcast Chief: “2014 a great year financially”

Comcast has reported results for the quarter and year ended December 31st 2014.

Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Corporation, said, “2014 was a great year financially, operationally, and strategically for Comcast NBCUniversal. We continued to execute incredibly well as we accelerated our innovation, launched new products, and brought amazing films, shows and theme park attractions to consumers. Cable’s results, driven by High-Speed Internet and Business Services, demonstrate our focus on driving profitable growth and technology innovations, including our transformative X1 platform. This is bearing fruit in our operating performance, as we added 358,000 customer relationships, while video subscriber trends were the best in 7 years and in broadband we added over 1 million subscribers for the ninth year in a row. NBCUniversal also had a standout performance in 2014, with 18 per cent growth in operating cash flow, driven by a successful Sochi Olympics, continued momentum at NBC Broadcast, the successful opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley in Orlando, and strong box office performance from Universal Pictures.

“We enter 2015 with great momentum and significant opportunities ahead, and we look forward to receiving regulatory approval for the Time Warner Cable merger. Underscoring our confidence in the continued success of our company, we are increasing our dividend to $1.00 per share on an annualised basis, marking the seventh consecutive annual increase, and plan to repurchase at least $4.25 billion of our stock this year,” he concluded.

Full Year 2014 Highlights:
•    Consolidated Revenue Increased 6.4 per cent, Operating Cash Flow Increased 6.9 per cent, Operating Income Increased 9.9 per cent and Free Cash Flow Exceeded $8 Billion
•    Earnings per Share Increased 25.0 per cent to $3.20; Excluding Adjustments, EPS Increased 18.6 per cent to $2.93
•    Cable Communications Revenue Increased 5.5 per cent and Operating Cash Flow Increased 5.3 per cent
•    Customer Relationships Increased by 358,000, a 67 per cent Improvement Compared to 2013
•    NBCUniversal Revenue Increased 7.5 per cent and Operating Cash Flow Increased 18.1 per cent

Cable Networks
For the fourth quarter of 2014, revenue from the Cable Networks segment was stable at $2.3 billion and operating cash flow decreased 1.8 per cent to $912 million compared to the fourth quarter of 2013. These results reflect a 5.6 per cent decline in advertising revenue along with a slight increase in operating costs driven by investment in programming, which more than offset a 4.6 per cent increase in distribution revenue.

For the year ended December 31st 2014, revenue from the Cable Networks segment increased 3.9 per cent to $9.6 billion compared to $9.2 billion in 2013. Excluding $257 million of revenue generated by the 2014 Sochi Olympics, revenue increased 1.1 per cent, reflecting a 4.6 per cent increase in distribution revenue, partially offset by a 3.5 per cent decrease in advertising revenue. Operating cash flow increased 2.5 per cent to $3.6 billion compared to $3.5 billion in 2013. Excluding the Olympics, operating cash flow increased 2.2 per cent, reflecting higher revenue and flat operating costs, even as we continue to invest in programming.

Broadcast Television
For the fourth quarter of 2014, revenue from the Broadcast Television segment increased 4.8 per cent to $2.3 billion compared to $2.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, driven by a 3.1 per cent increase in advertising revenue, as well as higher retransmission consent fees. Operating cash flow increased 64.0 per cent to $230 million compared to $140 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, reflecting higher revenue, which more than offset a slight increase in operating costs and expenses.

For the year ended December 31st 2014, revenue from the Broadcast Television segment increased 20 per cent to $8.5 billion compared to $7.1 billion in 2013. Excluding $846 million of revenue generated by the 2014 Sochi Olympics, revenue increased 8.1 per cent, reflecting higher advertising revenue and retransmission consent fees. Operating cash flow increased $389 million to $734 million compared to $345 million in 2013. Excluding the Olympics, operating cash flow increased $272 million, or 78.6 per cent, reflecting higher revenue and a modest increase in operating costs and expenses

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