Ad Growth Lifts Scripps Networks' Bottom Line

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Scripps Networks Interactive reported higher income as advertising and affiliate revenue rose during the first quarter.

Net income was $101 million, or 59 cents a share, up from $72.5 million, or 43 cents a share.

Revenues rose 14% to $536 million. Advertising revenues were up 12% to $324 million and affiliate fee revenue was up 6.3% to $145 million.

"Our strong advertising growth in the first quarter reflects the popularity of our networks and their tremendous value as marketing platforms for advertisers and distribution partners," said chairman, president and CEO Ken Lowe in a statement. "We're committed to building on the competitive leadership position we've established in the home, food and travel lifestyle content categories and are encouraged by the positive start we've had for the year. Trends continue to be positive which portends well for a very good 2011."

Scripps' Lifestyle Media unit, which includes it cable channels, reported that revenue rose 11% to $474 million, with advertising revenue up 12% to $322 million and affiliate revenue up $6% to $144 million. Profit for the segment was up 31% to $245 million.

Scripps reported $15.5 million in transition costs related to the acquisition and integration of the Travel Channel and $11 million in marketing and legal costs in connection with affiliate renewal negotiations for Food Network and HGTV.

A revenue scorecard for the ndividual networks shows

- Food Network was up 15% to $174 million;

- HGTV advanced 6% to $171 million;

- Travel Channel increased 9% to $62 million;

- DIY Network built 25% to $23.3 million;

- Cooking Channel rose 11% to $15.3 million from when it was the Fine Living Network a year ago; and

- Great American Country edged up 0.9% to $6.5 million.

Scripps said that during the first quarter, Tribune Co. increased its minority interested in Food Channel to 31%

The company results include revenues from Shopzillia, which it agreed to sell last week.

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