AMC Networks reported higher profit in the first quarter as its taxes went down and distribution revenue rose.
Net income was $157 million, or $2.54 per share, from 138 million or $1.98 per share.
Revenue rose 2.9% to $741 million.
"AMC Networks delivered strong performance in the first quarter of 2018 with record total company revenues and earnings per share,” said CEO Josh Sapan. "We have grown total distribution of our networks, reflecting the strength of our well-priced, well-defined brands; the quality of our programming and its popularity with viewers; and the value we create for both traditional and emerging distribution platforms.
“AMC Networks has the lowest priced offering of any independent programmer and is the most widely available independent programmer among virtual MVPDs, an indicator of our strong position as these emerging platforms continue to grow," Sapan added, “As we focus on delivering shareholder value in the near and long-term, we remain disciplined in our approach to content investments and managing costs while increasingly diversifying our revenue mix through content sales, franchise monetization and new distribution platforms."
At AMC’s national networks, operating income edged up 0.1% to $249.9 million, reflecting increased revenue offset by higher programming expenses.
Revenue rose 2.9% to $633 million.
Distribution revenue was up 10.8% to $407 million.
Advertising revenue decreased 8.8% to$226 million. The drop in ad sales was the result of lower ratings and the timing of original programming.
The company’s income tax expense fell to $56.9 million from $73.1 million.