* Backed by Bain Capital
* Europe particularly weak
* Report surprise quarterly profit
Advertising companies such as Clear Channel, whose fortunes are closely tied to the health of the economy, have been warning of weak spending because of the euro zone crisis and slowing growth in China, but they have benefited from political advertising in the run-up to the U.S. Presidential election.
“Macroeconomic conditions continue to drive uneven performance across our international markets,” Chief Financial Officer Tom Casey said on a conference call with analysts after Clear Channel reported a surprise quarterly profit.
“But the weakness in southern Europe, France and the Nordic countries has been offset by continued growth in Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region,” he added.
Bain Capital Partners LLC, co-founded by U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, is part of a private equity group that owns Clear Channel Communications Inc, which in turn controls 89 percent of Clear Channel Outdoor.
International revenue, which accounted for more than half of Clear Channel Outdoor’s total revenue last year, fell by $1 million in the third quarter from the year-earlier period.
Excluding a $6 million reduction in revenue due to the sale of two businesses and the effects of currency rates, international revenue rose 5 percent.
Clear Channel Outdoor, which sells advertising space on billboards, public transport and other outdoor venues, said growth in international revenue resulted mainly from strong demand in Australia, China, and from the Olympics in London.
Competitors include JC Decaux SA, CBS Corp’s CBS Outdoor and Lamar Advertising Co.
Net profit jumped five-fold $17.3 million, or 5 cents per share, from $3.2 million, or 1 cent per share, a year earlier, while revenue fell 2 percent to $731 million.
Analysts had expected a loss of 4 cents per share on revenue of $737.1 million, according to Thomson Reuters, publisher of Buyouts.
The company’s stock, which has lost about 45 percent of its value this year, was down 6 percent at $6.44 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday Nov. 2.