Meredith Fiscal Q1 Earnings: Revenue Up, Broadcast Down

Lack of Political Ads Causes Drops in Broadcast-Business Numbers
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Meredith reported a 10% rise in earnings per share for the first quarter of fiscal-year 2008 compared with the year-ago quarter. Earnings from continuing operations increased 11% to $33 million for the quarter, and revenues rose 5% to $404 million.

Publishing operating profit increased 16% over the prior year’s quarter, but Meredith’s broadcast business was not so rosy. Operating profit declined 25% and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization declined 17%, reflecting the absence of election money. Total broadcast revenues dropped $6 million, or 7%.

The Web corner of the broadcast business was strong, as “broadcasting online revenues” more than doubled. Average monthly page views doubled, as well.

Revenues at Meredith Interactive Media rose more than 20%, thanks in part to redesigns of the sites for Better Homes and Gardens and Parents.

“We posted outstanding advertising performance and market-share gains in our magazine business in the quarter, along with strong results in our custom marketing operations,” president and CEO Stephen M. Lacy said in a statement. “This record start to fiscal 2008 reflects the strength of our content-creation and distribution capabilities and our sales and marketing expertise, and our strategic investments position Meredith for continued profitable growth.”

Meredith publishes women-focused magazines such as Family Circle and Better Homes and Gardens, and it owns 13 TV stations, including KPDX Portland, Ore., and WFSB Hartford, Conn.

During the quarter, Meredith launched daily lifestyle TV program Better. And earlier this week, the media company announced a partnership with Comcast to launch video-on-demand platform Parents TV.

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