Big Earnings Quarter for Scripps Networks

U.S networks cook up 14% ad revenue increase

Strong performances by its U.S. cable networks helped propel Scripps Networks Interactive to a big jump in earnings in the first quarter.

First-quarter net income more than doubled to $290.9 million, or $2.24 per share, from $123.8 million, or 94 cents, a year ago.

Revenues were up 24% to $816.9 million. Domestic advertising growth was up 14%, the biggest increase for the company in five years.

The strong performance led the company to increase its full-year profit guidance from 7% to 8%.

"This has been a tremendous quarter for Scripps Networks Interactive. The power and appeal of our lifestyle networks continues to grow in the U.S. as evidenced by the increase in ratings at all of the U.S. networks and strongest advertising growth in five years. Meanwhile, our international business is really delivering on the high expectations that we have for the segment,” said CEO Ken Lowe. “The consistent financial performance that our networks produce demonstrates our ability to deliver on our proven strategy of developing lifestyle content and creating deeper connections with consumers around the world."

Scripps’ U.S. networks generated a profit of $359.5 million, up 19.6% from a year ago. Revenues were up 9.9% to $702.2 million.

Ad revenues in the U.S. were $487 million, up 13.7%. Distribution revenues were up 2.2% to $202.1 million.

Operating revenues jumped 14.5% to $271.7 million at Scripps Networks’ biggest network, HGTV. Operating revenues were up 5.5% to $229.3 million at Food Network, up 6.4% to $80.8 million at Travel Channel; gained 8.1% to $41.5 million at DIY; up 7.7% to $32.9 million at Cooking Channel and were down 1% to $7.3 million at Great American Country.

International network profit was up 266.5% to $9.8 million as revenue increased 4.4% to $121.3 million. Scripps acquired TVN in Poland last year, which accounted for most of the increase.