AMC Reports Higher Profits in First Quarter

'Walking Dead' fuels 25% increase in ad revenues

AMC Networks continued to ride the strength of original shows like The Walking Dead to higher profits in the first quarter.

Net income rose 70% to $120.9 million, or $1.66 a share, from 71.4 million, or 98 cents a share a year ago.

Revenues rose 27.5% to $669 million.

Cash flow at AMC’s national networks, including AMC, WE tv, and IFC, rose 42.5% to $253.3 million. Revenues rose 25.4% to $562.8 million.  Ad revenues rose 25.3% to $260 million because of strong demand for original programming, plus the inclusion of BBC America, the company said.

AMC Networks took a 49.9% stake in BBC America for $200 million and has consolidated it into its operations.

"AMC Networks is off to a strong start in 2015, with returns on our content investments generating significant growth in our revenues, AOCF and operating income," CEO Josh Sapan said in a statement. "Viewers continue to embrace our original programming, including AMC's The Walking Dead and our new original series Better Call Saul, which was the most-watched new series on cable in key advertiser demos, this broadcast season."

Sapan added: “Our international business is developing well, with our portfolio of global channels and strong local brands benefitting from growing demand from distributors. AMC Networks continues to operate from a position of strength, with high quality programming, clearly defined brands and strong audience support that drives financial performance and our ability to create value for shareholders.”