Cable Nets Drive Scripps’ 4Q Nos.

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Strong performances by its cable networks helped to boost E.W. Scripps Co.’s fourth-quarter earnings to $101.6 million, or $1.24 per share, versus $75.8 million (94 cents) in the prior-year period.

The company’s revenue rose 13% to $514.3 million from $456.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2002.

Fourth-quarter profits for its Scripps Networks unit -- which includes Home & Garden Television, Food Network, Do It Yourself and Fine Living -- increased 59% to $66.4 million and revenue jumped 31% to $155 million.

For the full year, companywide revenue was $1.9 billion, compared with $1.5 billion in 2002. Net income was $270.8 million ($3.32 per share), up 44% from $188.3 million ($2.34) during the previous year.

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