No doubt television/magazine company Meredith Corporation would like to put presidential elections on the schedule more frequently. The television portion of its portfolio posted record results during its fiscal Q2, with big gains in revenue, operating profit and EBITDA.
The company as a whole prospered, with a 10% gain in revenue to $361M for the quarter and an 18% jump in advertising income to $217M.
But its local group, which includes television holdings, really took off. Revenue was up 32% to $111M, and excluding a special charge, operating profit was up 70% to $46M and EBITDA was up 47%.
“Our Local Media Group delivered record-setting revenue and operating profit performance for the second quarter and the first half of fiscal 2013,” said Meredith Chairman and CEO Stephen M. Lacy. “Our digital business continued its rapid growth, and our recent acquisitions again delivered strong contributions. We once again delivered higher cash flow and returns to shareholders, and we expect to continue to do so over time.”
Meredith noted these highlights in its television performance for the quarter:
* Net political advertising revenues were a record $38 million. Performance was particularly strong at Meredith’s stations in Las Vegas, Hartford and Phoenix.
* Non-political advertising revenues were down slightly, as record demand for political advertising prior to the November 6 elections displaced non-political advertising. However, non-political advertising revenues rose 3 percent for the period following the election.
* Automotive, Meredith’s largest non-political advertising category, rose 10 percent
* Other revenues and operating expenses both increased, due primarily to growth in retransmission revenues from cable and satellite television operators, and programming fees paid to affiliated networks.
* Meredith successfully renewed long-term affiliation agreements with CBS Corp. and Fox Broadcasting Co.
“We continued to excel at our goal of delivering compelling content to viewers across broadcast, digital and mobile media platforms,” said Local Media Group President Paul Karpowicz. “At the same time, we did a great job monetizing the strength of our audience, as local over-the-air television once again demonstrated its unique ability to build brands and deliver unmatched results for advertising clients.”