With almost $70.5M in earnings, Gray Television Group exceeded its guidance. The performance represented a 15% improvement over Q1 2009’s total of $61.4M. The group said it is keeping costs low and benefitting from an improved business climate.
In a release, the company said, “While we continue to operate our business in a challenging environment, our operating results from the first quarter of 2010 exceeded our initial forecasts. We experienced improvements in our core local and national advertising revenue as well as other major revenue categories in the first quarter of 2010 compared to the first quarter of 2009. We believe we are well positioned to benefit from expected increases in political advertising in 2010. While our revenues have increased, we continue to focus on controlling our operating costs.”
Gray offered a number of highlights for the quarter:
* Local advertising revenue increased $4.2 million, or 11%, to $43.5 million.
* National advertising revenue increased $1.1 million, or 8%, to $14.0 million.
* Internet advertising revenue increased $0.5 million, or 20%, to $3.1 million.
* Political advertising revenue increased $1.8 million, or 176%, to $2.8 million.
* Retransmission advertising revenue increased $1.0 million, or 27%, to $4.6 million.
* Production and other revenue increased $0.1 million, or 5%, to $1.9 million.
* Consulting revenue from our agreement with Young Broadcasting, Inc. was $0.6 million in the first quarter of 2010.
* Advertising from the automotive sector improved significantly, increasing by 43% in the first quarter of 2010 when compared to the three months ended March 31, 2009. Other categories demonstrating significant improvement in advertising revenues during the first quarter of 2010 compared to the three months ended March 31, 2009 were: supermarkets, increasing 27%; financial and insurance services, increasing 23%; medical services, increasing 16%; and legal services, increasing 15%.