Revenue Drops at Meredith

Meredith Corp. reports $70 million in broadcasting revenue for fiscal 2009 Q1, down from $75 million a year prior

Meredith Corp. posted fiscal 2009 first-quarter earnings per share of $.41 and revenue of $370 million, down from fiscal 2008 earnings per share of $.68 and revenue of $404 million.

"The weak economy continues to significantly impact the demand for advertising. However, other fundamentals of our business remain strong," said Meredith President/CEO Stephen M. Lacy. "Our circulation metrics and news ratings are solid. Our non-advertising related businesses, particularly Meredith Integrated Marketing and brand licensing, are posting strong revenue and profit growth. Additionally, political advertising revenues are meeting expectations."

Lacy cited the strength of Meredith’s balance sheet amidst the bleak economy. “We have maintained this rock-solid financial position for years, and it is even more important in this period of economic uncertainty," he said.

Fiscal first quarter broadcasting operating profit was $11 million, compared to $14 million in the same period a year ago. Revenue was $70 million, compared to $75 million last year. EBIDTA was $17 million, down from $20 million.

Political advertising was strong, but little else in the ad world was. “Ongoing industry-wide weakness in core television advertising categories such as automotive, professional services, restaurants, retail and furnishings impacted Broadcasting performance in the quarter. Combined advertising revenues in these categories declined nearly 20 percent,” Meredith stated.

Meredith expects the economic environment to stay cool at least through the near term. “The resulting advertising weakness, partially offset by political advertising at Meredith's television stations, will impact the company's revenue performance at least through the second quarter of fiscal 2009,” it said.