Fisher Q2 TV revenue up 37%; Radio up 8%


Fisher Communications said the advertising recovery that began in late 2009 contributed to strong YOY increases in revenue and broadcast cash flow, which scored a net profit Q2. Total revenue for the quarter was $40.8 million, an increase of $8.9 million, or 28%, compared to Q2 2009. The results included a 37% increase in television revenue — primarily due to higher advertising and retransmission consent revenue. Radio net revenue increased $492,000, or 8%, to $6.4 million.

Retransmission consent revenue for Q2 2009 excluded $902,000 attributable to that quarter, but recorded in Q3 2009 upon execution of the underlying contracts. If that revenue had been recorded in the Q2 2009, the YOY increases in total revenue and television revenue for Q2 would have been 24% and 31%, respectively.

Fisher reported $328,000 in net income for the quarter, compared to a $2.1 million net loss in Q2 2009. The quarter’s net income included an $842,000 pre-tax gain on the Sprint Nextel asset exchange and a $309,000 pre-tax gain on insurance reimbursements related to the July 2009 Fisher Plaza electrical fire. The Company’s net loss in Q2 2009 included a $1.2 million pre-tax gain on extinguishment of debt.

Said Fisher President and CEO Colleen Brown: “We are now more than halfway through the year and I am pleased with the progress and performance of the business. This performance reflects the improving advertising environment and our continued focus on the improving operating and financial results – all transforming Fisher into a diversified local media company.”

Among the key ad categories for the quarter, Brown said Automotive increased a significant 85%. Retail was up 26% and Professional Services grew by 22%. She said for the first half of the year, their television ad revenue, even without political, was up 20% over the first six months of 2009.

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, Brown said they are optimistic that the increased ad spend will continue to drive growth opportunities for local broadcasters. “Over the past several years, we have strategically positioned Fisher to benefit from this recovery by improving our broadcast operations and developing a robust digital platform that enables us to meet the growing demand for local online and mobile content. We believe this diversified approach will allow us to create long-term value for our viewers, shareholders and business partners.”

Q2 Highlights (comps made to Q2 2009 unless otherwise noted):

TV net revenue increased $8.3 million, or 37%, to $31.1 million.
Core advertising revenue (net) increased 20% to $23.3 million and Political revenue (net) increased $1.3 million to $1.5 million.
Advertising increased in virtually all key categories – Automotive, the largest category, increased 85%, while Professional Services and Retail increased 22% and 26%, respectively.
TV BCF increased $5.3 million to $6.4 million; TV BCF margin was 21%, up from 5%.
Retrans consent revenue for the quarter was $3.3 million, an increase of $2.5 million from the $791,000 recorded in Q2 2009.  The 2009 amount excluded $902,000 of cable retransmission consent fees attributable to Q2 2009 under contracts with several distribution partners that were executed in the third quarter of 2009.  If the $902,000 had been recorded in Q2 2009, the comparative quarter increase in retransmission revenue would have been $1.6 million, or 95%.
Internet net revenue increased by $450,000, or 120%, to $826,000. During the quarter, Internet net revenue was 2.7% of TV revenue.

Radio net revenue increased $492,000, or 8%, to $6.4 million.
Radio BCF decreased $312,000 to $1.1 million and radio BCF margin decreased to 17%, the result of higher sales commissions, advertising and programming costs.

Fisher Plaza revenue grew $39,000, or 1%, to $3.5 million.
Fisher Plaza EBITDA (which excludes net fire-related expenses) increased 6% to $2.2 million.
The company remains in active discussions with its insurance carriers regarding its remaining loss claim related to the July 2009 electrical fire.