Discovery Posts Loss in Wake of Scripps Networks Purchase

Domestic ad revenue up 2%
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Discovery Inc. recorded a loss in the first quarter partly because of costs associated with its acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, the company said.

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The deficit was was $8 million, or 1 cent per share, compared with net income of $215 million, or 37 cents a share, a year ago. The loss was caused by restructuring charges, costs associated with the Scripps acquisition and higher interest expenses. Discovery said.

Related: Discovery Completes Acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive

Operating income was down 6%, with U.S. networks up 1% and international networks down 30% because of the costs of Olympics programming.

Revenue rose 43% to $2.3 billion. Excluding foreign currency fluctuations, the acquisition of Scripps and transactions involving The Enthusiast Network and OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, revenue rose 14%, including a 3% gain at U.S. networks.

Related: Discovery Increases Stake in Oprah Winfrey Network

“The first quarter of 2018 was a historic and pivotal period for Discovery," said CEO David Zaslav. "We closed on our transaction to acquire Scripps Networks Interactive, becoming the global leader in real-life entertainment and home to an enhanced portfolio of quality and trusted enthusiast brands. As our industry continues to evolve, we are uniquely positioned to maximize the value of our traditional pay TV business while driving new opportunities and growth from our digital and direct to consumer businesses around the world."

Revenue at Discovery’s U.S. networks was up 42% to $1.174 billion. On a pro-forma basis, revenue for the U.S. networks was up 2%, with distribution revenue up 2% and ad revenue up 2%.

Distribution of Discovery’s full-distributed networks was down 3%. Distribution of its entire cable portfolio was down 5%.

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