Political advertising fueled major revenue growth at Gannett, giving the company a positive final quarter of 2012 despite continued sluggishness in its publishing division. But it even saw some growth on that front.
Gracia Martore, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are proud of our strong operating results this quarter with growth in revenue and margin expansion driving strong cash flow. This caps an extremely productive year in which we successfully implemented our strategy to position Gannett for success in the digital era. For the year, we achieved our first year-over-year increase in company-wide revenue since 2006. During the fourth quarter and for the full year, our Broadcasting business delivered record revenue and profitability. Our television stations significantly increased market share this year reflecting the value of their content and format in gaining new viewers while retaining their loyal base. Not to be outdone, local domestic publishing circulation revenue also increased for the third straight quarter driven by the success of our all access content subscription model. We are meeting or exceeding the revenue and operating profit goals we had for the all access content subscription model. Total digital revenue across Gannett increased 29 percent and represented 25 percent of total revenue.”
Martore continued, “Our strategy is gaining momentum, our investments are bearing fruit and we are achieving the results we expected. We enter 2013 with our businesses performing well and poised for even greater success going forward. We remain confident we are well positioned to achieve our goals and to continue delivering on our promise to return increased value to shareholders.”
Total television revenue was up 45.7% to $280.2M, aided by $91.2M in political revenue. Retransmission consent revenue was also up big, rising 38.7% to $29.6M.
The numbers were also assisted by the presence of an extra week during Q4 2012 compared to Q4 2011.
The company says that excluding political, its Q1 results should increase in the 10%-12% range during the current Q1 2013 quarter.
Gannett’s publishing division was slightly in the black based on increased subscription revenue, but is still seeing its advertising income diminish, down 2% to $657.5M.