Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. Q1, 2014, Down 2%

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc, San Antonio, recently reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014, showing revenues of $635 million, down 2% year over year and OIBDAN was down 6%, or $6 million, to $92 million.

Americas revenue decreased 6% but International revenue increased $3 million.

“We made solid progress at our Outdoor businesses during the quarter, as we increasingly capitalized on the growing opportunity in international emerging markets while refocusing our Americas organization to meet the shifting needs of our advertising partners,” said Bob Pittman, executive chairman of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings. “CEO William Eccleshare and his team are also driving our technological leadership, such as launching ‘Connect’ – a groundbreaking mobile advertising platform that will enable 175 million consumers monthly around the world to access information, shopping, entertainment and community with just their smartphones.

“We look forward to continuing to transform the out-of-home industry to engage more global consumers more deeply than ever with the industry’s most advanced innovations and smartest initiatives.”

“International Outdoor is showing continued strength with a 24% increase in OIBDAN compared to the prior year quarter,” said Eccleshare. “Strong performances in emerging markets, such as China and Latin America, have been augmented by the economic recovery in Europe. Our UK business is executing ahead of the market, and we see clear signs of an improved performance in the Eurozone, aided by our Sales Force Effectiveness and Revenue Management programs.”

“Americas Outdoor faced difficult conditions in the quarter,” he said. “We continued to see growth in our strong local and regional business. But our national operations faced challenges, such as the continued absence of revenue from the 77 digital boards in Los Angeles and other divested assets. In addition, a number of our major advertisers shifted their out-of-home spending to support other initiatives, including the Winter Olympics and World Cup. We are taking steps to address these setbacks with our new national sales leadership, our Shopper Marketing program and the continued expansion of our digital footprint.”

On the International revenue side, growth in emerging markets including China, as well as developed markets including the UK and France, was partly offset by declines in other countries, including those in Northern and Eastern Europe, primarily due to challenging macroeconomic conditions.

The Company’s recent key highlights include:

  • Installing 15 new digital billboards for an end of quarter total of 1,081 across 39 U.S. markets;
  • Continuing to use advanced technology to transform itself, Clear Channel Outdoor launched ‘Connect’, the first out-of-home mobile interactive advertising platform that will initially reach 175 million consumers each month across 23 countries on five . ‘Connect’ turns advertising panels with NFC, QR and/or SMS capabilities at 75,000 of Clear Channel Outdoor’s pedestrian-accessible sites into mobile launch pads, enabling consumers to access interactive content from advertisers via their smartphones for information, shopping, entertainment and community.
  • Announcing Clear Channel Airports’ agreement with Adlux, the private aviation advertising market leader in the Middle East, Europe, Russia, Asia-Pacific and Central America, to provide brands with one-stop-shop and sell-through access to multimedia advertising opportunities in the busiest private airport lounges in the world. This alliance extends both companies’ media networks into private airport terminals covered by the other in order to engage the exclusive audience of high net worth and senior executive business travelers.
  • Partnering with Transport for London to test a real-time mapping tool at a bus stop along London’s heavily traveled Regent Street. The mapping tool features a digital screen showing passengers the real-time progress of their buses, travel updates from London Underground and tourist information for the surrounding neighborhood;
  • Signing Vodafone to a three-year contract to become the exclusive sponsor of the Clear Channel smart bike sharing system in Barcelona – called ‘Bicing’ – with Vodafone branding on the bikes, docking stations and website.

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