Playboy Back on the Plus Side

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Playboy Enterprises Inc. posted fourth-quarter net income of $14.5 million, or $0.43 per basic and diluted share, versus a net loss of $6.7 million ($0.26) in the year-ago quarter, the company said Wednesday.

The current-year results included an insurance recovery of $5.6 million, while the prior-year figures included a related legal settlement of $8.5 million.

Operating income was $13.6 million, up 54% from $8.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2003.

Playboy reported full-year-2004 net income of $10 million, or $0.30 per basic and diluted share, versus a net loss of $7.6 million ($0.31) for full-year 2003.

The company’s entertainment group posted fourth-quarter segment income of $14.6 million, up 69% from the previous-year period, on a 9% increase in revenues to $53.2 million.

Playboy said fourth-quarter-2004 results benefited from increased U.S. cable video-on-demand and satellite revenues, higher international-TV revenues, growth in online subscriptions and lower programming-amortization expense compared with the same period in 2003.

“Our solid fourth-quarter and full-year results demonstrate both the underlying strength and continued potential for profitable growth in entertainment and licensing,” chairman and CEO Christie Hefner said in a prepared statement.

“In the entertainment group, we recorded fourth-quarter revenue and profit growth in domestic and international television, online subscriptions and wireless, all of which we expect to remain growth drivers for the company,” she added.

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