Blockbuster says its separation from Viacom will be completed by early October. The announcement came today (July 22) during the chain's second-quarter earnings call, in which it reported a downturn i

Blockbuster says its separation from Viacom will be completed by early October.

The announcement came today (July 22) during the chain's second-quarter earnings call, in which it reported a downturn in rental revenues and a slight increase in total revenues.

Net income was $46.8 million, compared with $61.2 million for last year's second quarter.

Total revenues rose 2.1% to $1.42 billion, vs. $1.39 billion in the second quarter of 2003. Rental revenues -- which represented 75.7% of total revenues in the second quarter -- were down 1.7% to $1.08 billion, vs. $1.1 billion.

Retail revenues -- 22.7% of total revenues in the second quarter -- were up 17.5% to $323.2 million. Worldwide same-store retail revenues increased 4.3%.

Worldwide same-store revenues decreased 4.4%, and worldwide same-store rental revenues were down 6.4%.

"The rental business continues to be challenging, a trend we expect to continue through at least the first half of 2005," Blockbuster chairman/CEO John Antioco says in a statement. "We believe this validates our decision to transform Blockbuster from a rental-only retailer into an entertainment destination that enables customers to rent, buy or trade movies and games, new or used, in-store or online. We remain on track or ahead of schedule with all our strategic initiatives."