NEWS21 July 2010

Second quarter revenue and profits improve for Arbitron

Financials North America

US— Arbitron today reported a small rise in second quarter revenue, up 1.8% to $88.3m, but profits were up 8.7% to $3.8m – beating Wall Street expectations.

CEO William Kerr (pictured) said the radio advertising marketplace “continued to improve” in Q2. “As the ad economy brightens, we continue to work with customers to help the radio industry take better advantage of the rebound in advertising dollars,” he said.

Half-year profits were equally robust – up 10.8% to $17.5m – but revenue was down 0.6% to $184.2m owing to the continued impact of Cumulus and Clear Channel’s decision to ditch Arbitron’s diary ratings in certain small and medium-sized markets in favour of a rival offering from Nielsen. Certain other customers, Univision among them, had also reduced their level of service or not re-subscribed, thus further impacting sales figures.

Arbitron said year-on-year revenue comparisons were also affected by the timing of the commercialisation of portable people meter ratings services in new US markets – six of which were switched on in the first half of last year, although none were commercialised in the first six months of 2010. PPM is the currency rating system in 33 US markets.