Meredith’s Local Media Group revenue was $130 million in the company’s fiscal fourth quarter, up 17% over the previous year’s corresponding quarter. Operating profit in the station group was $40 million, compared to $25 million in the prior-year period.
The broadcast group’s full fiscal year earnings were $163 million, a record for the company and an increase of 44% over the previous fiscal year. Growth was driven primarily by the addition of KMOV St. Louis and KTVK Phoenix; a strong political cycle led by stations in Phoenix, Hartford and Kansas City; and higher retransmission revenue.
National Media Group operating profit was up 8% for the fiscal year. Meredith’s total revenues rose 9% to $426 million for the year, including 13% growth in advertising revenues.
"Fiscal 2015 was a year of strong growth in revenues, profit and cash flow," said chairman and CEO Stephen M. Lacy. "Our Local Media Group delivered the best financial performance in its over 65-year history, and our National Media Group set records in digital advertising and brand licensing revenues. We aggressively added to our portfolio, including acquiring great local television stations, powerful national brands, and cutting-edge digital properties."
Meredith also added WALA Mobile-Pensacola and WGGB Springfield (Mass.) to the group, giving it 17 stations reaching 11% of U.S. households. “Our television expansion strategy continues to drive growth in revenue and profit," said Meredith Local Media Group president Paul Karpowicz. "We have successfully integrated the four stations we acquired, while also delivering stronger financial performance from our existing stations. Looking ahead, we are focused on continued growth across our group—including from our digital and mobile platforms—while actively looking for opportunities to add to our portfolio."
Meredith expects fiscal first quarter 2016 revenues to be up low-single digits, with Local revenues flat or up slightly, and National ones up low to mid-single digits.