Hulu's CEO says revenue to more than double this year

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Popular U.S. Web video service Hulu should more than double revenue this year to $240 million, its chief executive said on Wednesday, a growth projection likely to create more buzz about a potential public offering.

CEO Jason Kilar, speaking in San Francisco, said Hulu delivered videos to 30 million viewers in the past month from a library that includes hit shows such as “The Office” and “Glee.” Hulu currently has more than 235 content partners, he said.

Highlights of Kilar’s speech were provided by the company, which is backed by General Electric Co’s NBC Universal, Walt Disney Co, News Corp and private equity firm Providence Equity Partners.

Launched three years ago, Hulu is now the second-largest Web video service behind Google’s YouTube in the United States. All of the top 25 U.S. advertisers now run spots on Hulu’s site, Kilar said.

But Hulu is also facing increasingly stiff competition in digital media, with fast-moving rival Netflix and better financed big technology companies like Google Inc, Apple Inc and Inc making plays in the streaming video business.

Sources recently told Reuters that Hulu is considering an effort to raise $200 million to $300 million in a public offering that would help fund its efforts to expand and pay for more content deals. Such an offering would value the company at about $2 billion, the sources said.

Hulu and its owners have declined to comment on a possible IPO.

But its bullish financial projections could increase investor’s appetite for a sale. Last year, Hulu posted revenue of $108 million, so this year’s projected $240 million would represent a jump of nearly 125 percent.

Reporting by Paul Thomasch; Editing by Tim Dobbyn