Increased ad sales and retransmission consent money push 4Q revenue up almost 4% to $2.3 billion and full year revenue up 8% to $8.5 billion.
Comcast Corp. today reported results for the fourth quarter of 2014 that included a 4.8% increase in revenue from its NBC broadcast television segment to $2.3 billion compared to $2.2 billion in the same period last year.
Operating cash flow increased 64% 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 full year, broadcast television segment revenue was up 8.1% to $8.5 billion from $7.1 billion in 2013, 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%, reflecting higher revenue and a modest increase in operating costs and expenses
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% to $912 million compared to the fourth quarter of 2013. These results reflect a 5.6% decline in advertising revenue along with a slight increase in operating costs driven by investment in programming, which more than offset a 4.6% increase in distribution revenue.
For the year ended Dec. 31, 2014, revenue from the cable networks segment increased 3.9% 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%, reflecting a 4.6% increase in distribution revenue, partially offset by a 3.5% decrease in advertising revenue.
Operating cash flow increased 2.5% to $3.6 billion compared to $3.5 billion in 2013. Excluding the Olympics, operating cash flow increased 2.2%, reflecting higher revenue and flat operating costs, even as the company continues to invest in programming
Consolidated revenue for NBCUniversal increased 2.3% to $6.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to the fourth quarter of 2013, as revenue growth in in theme parks and broadcast television was partially offset by lower filmed entertainment revenue driven by a year-over-year decline in home entertainment revenue. Operating cash flow increased 6.6% to $1.4 billion compared to $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, driven by strong results at theme parks and broadcast television.
For Comcast as a whole, consolidated revenue increased 4.8% to $17.7 billion. Consolidated operating cash flow increased 4.1% to $5.9 billion. Excluding $99 million of Time Warner Cable and Charter transaction-related costs in the fourth quarter of 2014, consolidated operating cash flow increased 5.9%. Consolidated operating income increased 3.8% to $3.8 billion.
For the year ended Dec. 31, 2014, consolidated revenue increased 6.4% to $68.8 billion. Excluding $1.1 billion of revenue generated by the Sochi Olympics in the first quarter of 2014, consolidated revenue increased 4.7%. Consolidated operating cash flow increased 6.9% to $22.9 billion. Excluding $105 million of operating cash flow generated by the Olympics in the first quarter of 2014, $237 million of transaction-related costs in 2014, and pension termination costs in the third quarter of 2013, consolidated operating cash flow increased 7.2% (See Table 5). Consolidated operating income increased 9.9% to $14.9 billion.
Brian L. Roberts, chairman-CEO of Comcast Corp., 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 seven 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% 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 per share on an annualized basis, marking the seventh consecutive annual increase, and plan to repurchase at least $4.25 billion of our stock this year.”