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August 5, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

“Of course, we are not all the way back, but the horizon is brighter,” Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone remarked today (Thursday) in discussing a strong surge in profits for his company, which includes the Paramount film studio as well as cable channels MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central. Net earnings soared 52 percent to $420 million from $277 million for the same quarter a year ago. “Viacom has significantly strengthened its financial position, driving free cash flow and continuing to expand our operating margins, culminating this quarter with the delivery of Viacom’s first quarterly cash dividend,” Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said. The one black mark on the company’s results was produced by a 43-percent fall in profits at its Paramount Home Video unit. (However, the Paramount film studio’s revenue grew 10 percent, largely due to strong ticket sales for Iron Man 2 and Shrek Forever After.) Asked whether home-video sales would have been helped by imposing a 28-day delay on Redbox and Netflix rentals, said that the company had tried the delay and found that it had little effect. Moreover, he noted, both Redbox and Netflix pay a higher fee in order to rent Paramount DVDs on the same day they go on sale.