Fourth quarter revenues for iHeartMedia increased $45 million, or 5.2% to $899 million, the company reported Thursday morning. Excluding the impact of political revenue, billings grew 8% or $63 million. For the full year 2015, revenues increased $123 million, or 3.9%, to $3.28 billion when compared to 2014.
The company cited increases in its core radio business, both broadcast and digital, for the full year revenue growth. That includes the impact of marketing partnerships with advertisers for live events, like the iHeartRadio Music Festival, the iHeartRadio Music Awards, the iHeart Country Festival and Jingle Ball concert tour, along with trade and barter revenue, traffic and weather business and growth in its Premiere Networks syndication business, driven by growth in the news/talk format. The increases were partially offset by decreases in political dollars since 2015 wasn’t a congressional election year. Subtracting political from the equation, full year revenues increased $155 million, or 5%.
“With a strong fourth quarter performance, and excluding the impact from foreign exchange rates, we showed growth in both revenue and OIBDAN in 2015 across iHeartMedia, Americas outdoor and International outdoor, despite strong headwinds in certain overseas economies,” said Rich Bressler, President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. “The strength of our operating business provides us with the flexibility to manage our capital structure in a prudent way. We continue to evaluate opportunities to strengthen our balance sheet as we focus on positioning iHeartMedia for long-term growth.”