Nielsen, the sometimes criticized ratings leader, reported higher earnings in the first quarter and said it is increasing its dividend.
The company said net income rose 7% to $63 million, or 17 cents a share, from $58 million or 15 cents a share, a year ago.
Revenues fell 2.1% to $1.458 billion. The company attributed the drop to foreign exchange changes and said that revenues were up 4.4% on a constant currency basis.
Nielsen also said it increased its dividend by 12% to 28 cents a share.
“Nielsen’s first quarter results again illustrate the consistency of our business model and strong execution,” Mitch Barns, CEO of Nielsen, said in a statement. “As we look ahead, we remain focused on, first, providing our clients with the solutions they need for Total Audience Measurement and second, guiding the industry towards adoption of a new metric that captures more of the viewing in the rapidly fragmenting media world in which we operate.”
Despite what appears to be increasing competition in the audience measurement business, revenues for Nielsen’s Watch segment rose 1.2%, or 3.6% on a constant currency basis, to $660 million. The company said it is taking steps to shed some non-core products and expects declines in its older online rankings product, but that those losses will be offset when it launches Digital Content Ratings in the Fall. Excluding those changes, Watch segment revenues rose 5.8% on a constant currency basis.