Arbitron has released its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2012, with revenue up in both time periods. In the fourth quarter of last year, net income fell from $14.1 million to $13.4 million, though this decline was attributed to "consulting, legal, and other expenses related to the pending acquisition of Arbitron by Nielsen." In Q4, revenue was $124.7 million, a 3.8 percent increase over $120.1 million in Q4 '11. Costs and expenses in Q4 grew by 7.1 percent to $106.6 million, "due to expenses related to the pending acquisition by Nielsen, additional cost of revenue for the PPM service, and additional Scarborough royalties due to increased sales of those services."
For the full year 2012, Arbitron's net income increased 6.8 percent to $56.9 million, compared to $53.3 million in 2011. Revenue in 2012 was $449.9 million, a 6.5 percent increase from $422.3 million in 2011. Revenue in 2012 increased primarily due to growth in revenue for PPM-based ratings service, in part due to the nearly completed phase-in of contracted PPM price increases. Revenue in 2012 also grew due to an increase in Scarborough qualitative service revenue, an increase in Diary-based ratings service revenue, and an increase in revenue for the Arbitron Mobile service. The 2012 revenue growth was partially offset by a decrease in international equipment sales.
Arbitron President/CEO Sean Creamer said, "In 2012, we maintained our focus on long-standing objectives: continued growth in our core revenue, improving margins while aggressively investing in the quality of our radio ratings services, and entry into new markets such as digital radio, cross-platform, and mobile. Over the past year, we were able to increase the number of PPM markets that are accredited by the Media Rating Council. Today, 18 PPM markets, including six of the top 10 radio markets, display the Council's coveted doublecheck marks."
He continued, "Also in 2012, we enhanced the radio data that advertisers can use in their marketing mix models. We believe our enhanced data will improve the resulting measures of radio's impact on sales and will help advertisers better appreciate the return on investment that radio can deliver on their marketing dollars. And importantly, we renewed contracts with a number of our top radio group clients, including Cumulus. This contract returned nearly 250 radio stations in more than 50 markets as subscribers to our diary-based radio ratings services."