Fiscal Q4 (April-June) was a good quarter all around for Meredith Corporation. The TV group grew revenues despite the lack of election year political advertising and the magazine side grew profits despite a decline in revenues.
Non-political revenues for TV were up 2.8% to $65.7 million and “other” revenues (including retrans) grew 22.3% to $11.3 million. Those gains more than offset a $3 million decline in political, which registered a mere $738K. However, costs did increase and operating profits for the Local Media Group, which is what Meredith calls its TV group, were down 6.4% to $19.3 million.
For the full fiscal year, Meredith proudly noted that Local Media Group revenues were up 14% to $322 million. That, of course, included a record $35 million in political spending for the election last calendar year. Operating profits grew 65% to $88 million. “Both marked the Local Media Group’s best performance since pre-recession fiscal 2007,” the company noted.
On the magazine, or National Media Group, side, Q4 revenues were down 4.1% to $275.1 million. However, operating profits were up 5% to $49.3 million.
For the full year, magazine revenues were down slightly (less than 2%) to $1.08 billion, but operating profits grew 6% to $180 million. “The National Media Group delivered its best operating profit and margin performance since pre-recession fiscal 2008,” the company noted.
“Looking at fiscal 2012, Meredith expects continued improvements in National Media Group advertising revenues, with moderating declines in the first half of the fiscal year turning to modest growth in the second half. With two of three issues closed, fiscal 2012 first quarter magazine advertising revenues are expected to be down in the mid-single digits, compared to the prior-year period.
In Local Media, Meredith will be cycling against $34 million of net political advertising revenues recorded in the first half of fiscal 2011. With nine weeks left in the first quarter of fiscal 2012, non-political television advertising pacings are down in the low-single digits, compared to the prior-year period.
Meredith currently expects fiscal 2012 first quarter earnings per share to range from $0.45 to $0.50 and full-year fiscal 2012 earnings per share to range from $2.40 to $2.80.”