Clear Channel Outdoor swings to loss

Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings swung to a loss in the first quarter and says it is scaling back on its digital plans as revenues slumped amid the “sluggish” economy.

The company says net losses totalled $87.9m in the three months ended March 31 down from a $88.9m (£58.7m) profit in the first quarter of last year.

Revenues dipped 25% to $582m (£384m) while international revenues, including the UK, crashed 29% to $312m (£206m).

The quarterly loss was also driven by $6.9m (£4.5m) in restructuring charges while first quarter figures last year included gains from the sale of a South African business.

Clear Channel Outdoor is the latest outdoor company to report first quarter declines. Last week, CBS Outdoor swung to a loss and saw revenues dip 24% while JCDecaux reported an 11.9% drop in revenues in the first quarter.

Paul J Meyer, president and chief executive officer of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, says it is temporarily scaling back its digital billboard deployment plans due to the restructuring costs and “weakness in advertising demand”.

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