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MTV and Paramount in massive profit slump

Can Paramount's upcoming film slate push Viacom's profits up?
Can Paramount's upcoming film slate push Viacom's profits up?

Viacom, the owners of MTV, Paramount Pictures and the Rock Band franchise, has announced a massive 69 per cent loss in profits.

The loss is being put down to redundancy payouts – 880 jobs were cut in December – and a write-down of assets.

The loss equates to a $387 million year-on-year, with profits down to $173 million (£120 million) from $560 million (£350 million) the same time in 2008.

Poor DVD sales

Viacom is putting the profit slump down to a decline in advertising and a slowing of DVD sales, with Viacom President Philippe Dauman saying the company's fourth-quarter results "reflect the realities of a challenging economy."

In 2008, the company had successful DVD releases of Iron Man, Kung Fu Panda, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Crystal Skull, but still saw a 6 per cent dip in the home entertainment market.

There was some good news regarding the cinema revenue. Paramount saw 28 per cent jump in revenues to $350 million (£240 million). The company is hoping that its 2009 film slate will also perk things up – with the likes of Star Trek, Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen and "GI Joe all coming out this year.