Discovery Inc. reported a fourth-quarter profit as it absorbed last year’s acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive.
Net income in the fourth quarter was $269 million, or 38 cents a share, compared to a $1.1 billion loss a year ago when the company too a non-cash goodwill impairment charge.On a pro-forma basis, calculated as if Scripps had been part of the company a year ago, adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization rose 16%.
Revenues rose 51% to $2.8 billion from a year ago, before the acquisition of Scripps Networks. Calculated as if Scripps had been part of Discovery a year ago, revenue dropped 2%, with a 1% increase at U.S. networks offset by a decline in education and other revenue.Operating income for Discovery’s U.S. networks group rose 17% on a pro-forma basis as revenue rose 2% and expenses decreased 4%.
Domestic advertising revenue was up 3% on a pro forma basis as advertising in digital content and an increase in ad prices outweighed lower ratings at the company’s linear channels.
Pro-forma distribution revenues increased 1% despite a 4% decline in domestic subscribers. Operating income at Discovery’s international networks was up 15% on a pro-forma basis. Revenue was up 2%.
“2018 was a transformational year for Discovery, highlighted by our operational accomplishments, our strong progress in synergy generation and our overall solid financial performance, as we continued powering people's passions around the world,” CEO David Zaslav said. "Discovery is a differentiated global content company, and we are optimistic that we will continue to build on all of our operating momentum to drive additional shareholder value into the future.”