Tough business cycle for Meredith


The bulk of Meredith’s business comes from its publishing side, but there was more than enough bad news to go around for the television side to join in the red ink party. However, the company is looking forward to improving business conditions. The company just finished the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2008 year. Overall, for the 2008 year, the company’s revenues were flat at $1.6B. Q4 amounted to a black-ink give back, however, as revenues fell from $428M in Q4 2007 to $385M in Q4 2008.

The company’s strength in attracting retail advertising is making the pain of that sector a major pain to Meredith as well. On the broadcasting side, Q4 operating profit fell from $28M to $18M, and for the fiscal year it fell from $107M to $78M. It should be noted that the second half of the company’s fiscal 2007 benefited from hot political action during the 2006 midterms, and results have lately been hurt by the automotive advertising pullback.

Meredith is looking forward to the upcoming political season, along with new cable retransmission negotiations, which it says will be good for about $15M in TV revenue over the course of a full year. The company does expect things to improve. "We believe current economic trends are cyclical in nature and not structural as they pertain to our industry or Meredith in particular," said President/CEO Stephen M. Lacy.