Playboy Sees Gains in Licensing but Lower Revenue

CHICAGO — Playboy Enterprises Inc. said Tuesday that revenue fell 9 percent to $55 million from $60.6 million in the fourth quarter, but that it narrowed its loss.

The net loss in the three months that ended Dec. 31 came to $14.7 million, compared with a loss of $27.8 million, in the same period a year earlier.

Playboy said income from its licensing division nearly doubled compared to the same period two years ago but that it experienced weaker performance in TV programming and its magazine, which had revenue at $18.8 million compared to $23.7 million a year ago..

The Chicago based company said it took a $12.5 million charge in the quarter over its legal dispute with DirectTV, which filed a lawsuit in March claiming that Playboy and its Spice Hot Entertainment division breached a deal by violating an agreement to offer some channels at the same terms that it was offering them to other pay TV services.

CEO Scott Flanders said the company was making progress in its transition to become a brand management company.

"We are pleased with our accomplishments through the year and in the fourth quarter in particular," he said. "In spite of the challenges created by a weak economy, changes in how consumers use media, the loss of a critical customer's revenue in the second half and the burden of expenses related to the potential going-private transaction, we made significant progress in our businesses during 2010."