Meredith rides record political haul to Q3 gain


MeredithMagazine income was up at multimedia Meredith Corporation, but television was way up, leading to a very successful Q3 for the company. Its local media group, which includes broadcast, enjoyed a 26% gain in revenue and an astronomical gain in operating profit.

“We delivered a strong start to fiscal 2013 as our Local Media Group delivered record-setting revenue and profit performance,” said Meredith Chairman and CEO Stephen M. Lacy. “We’re also very pleased with the growth of our digital businesses across the Company, as well as the significant progress made at integrating our recent acquisitions.  We expect these and other strategic initiatives to deliver increased cash flow and returns to our shareholders over time.”

Overall, the company realized a 15% gain in earnings per share from $0.48 to $0.55, on an 8% gain in revenue and a 12% gain in advertising revenue.

Meredith’s nation group, which includes its magazine holdings, was the drag on that, managing a 3% gain.

The story was much different at local/television. In addition to the 26% gain in revenue, boosted by $12M in political, the company boosted operating profits 150% to $28M, and registered a 39% gain in EBITDA.

Non-political advertising was up 5%, which the company said constituted its 12th quarter in a row of YOY gains.

The group’s poltical income was led by results in Las Vegas and Hartford, while automotive (+12%) and professional services (+6%) led its gains in non-political income.

Local Media Group President Paul Karpowicz commented, “We are focused on keeping the momentum going in non-political advertising revenues, along with maximizing our political advertising opportunity this election cycle. Our mission is to deliver great content to viewers across broadcast, digital and mobile media platforms. At the same time, we will continue to monetize the strength of our audience thanks to local over-the-air television’s unique ability to deliver unmatched results for our advertising clients.”