The $502 million total was attributed to the cyclical drivers of Olympic, Super Bowl and political advertising due to the company’s high concentration of NBC stations and traditionally favorable political advertising footprint.
Tegna this morning released first quarter results that included total revenue of $502 million, up 9.4% from $459 million in the same quarter a year ago.
Net income from continuing operations was $55.2 million, up 23.6%.
First quarter total company operating expenses were up 9% due primarily to higher programming fees, investments in Premion and higher sales and editorial costs for the Olympics and Super Bowl. These costs were partially offset by the absence of expenses associated with the terminated digital marketing services business. The mix of sales expense to revenue shifts throughout the year based on the company’s product-related cost of sale. In the latter half of the year, this mix shifts to a lower cost of sale due to high margin political revenue.
Operating income was up 11% compared to the first quarter of 2017.
The following summarizes the year-over-year changes in revenue categories:
- Advertising and Marketing Services were $282.9 million, up 5.2%.
- Political was $7.6 million, up from $2.2 million.
- Subscription was $205 million, up 12.8%.
Tegna’s even- to odd-year results were impacted by the cyclical drivers of Olympic, Super Bowl and political advertising due to the company’s high concentration of NBC stations and traditionally favorable political advertising footprint. For 2018, comparisons to 2017 were also negatively impacted by the conclusion of a transition services agreement with Gannett, which ended in June 2017.
Dave Lougee, president-CEO, said: “We entered 2018 with a solid foundation for growth. Excluding the impact of the terminated digital businesses, our revenue this quarter grew 12% year-over-year, at the high end of our guidance. Even without the benefit of Super Bowl, Olympic and political advertising, revenue grew nearly 6% on a non-GAAP comparable basis.
“Furthermore, three months of sequential growth in total paid subscribers underscores how stable this important revenue stream is for our company and a reflection of how critical our strong broadcast affiliates are to virtual MVPDs.
“Our growth strategy continues to open up new markets, including a new partnership for Premion that allows us to sell to streaming subscribers of Major League Baseball’s MLB.TV. And the closing and integration of our Midwest Television transaction in San Diego reinforces our proven ability to be a disciplined and strategic consolidator.”
Read the company’s report here.