The local media group’s performance of $199 million is driven by a 134% increase in political plus other revenue that more than offset an 8% drop in core advertising.
Meredith Corp. on Friday reported that its station group’s fiscal fourth quarter revenue increase 30.7% to $198.9 million.
The station group saw operating profit grow 27% to $59 million and adjusted EBITDA grew 22% to $69 million. Revenues grew more than 30% to $199 million, including quarter record $10 million of political advertising revenues.
The group’s core (non-political) advertising revenues were down 8.2% to $83.5 million.
Political ad revenue grew 134% to $10.3 million.
Other revenues and operating expenses grew from $56.9 million to $105.1 million.
Meredith’s digital business generated record traffic and financial performance with its larger footprint.
The company as a whole reported quarterly total revenue of $788 million, up 77%. Earnings from continuing operations were $17 million, compared to $43 million.
“We have positioned Meredith Corp. on a growth track not realizable absent this acquisition, while continuing to pay a very attractive dividend to our shareholders,” said Executive Chairman Stephen M. Lacy. “In fiscal 2018, we continued to strengthen our leading national and local media brands while adding powerful new brands such as People, InStyle, Southern Living and Real Simple, creating the most attractive portfolio in the marketplace.”
“Our legacy Meredith businesses continue to perform in-line with our expectations, and we are very pleased with the progress being made on integrating the acquired Time Inc. properties,” said President-CEO Tom Harty. “We expect to see meaningful improvement in advertising results for the acquired Time Inc. brands during fiscal 2019. We are on track to deliver more than $500 million of annual synergies in the first two full years of operations. These synergies are already being reflected in our results as we significantly improved adjusted EBITDA margins year-over-year in our National Media Group in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018. We expect significant margin improvement in fiscal 2019 as well.
“Given the progress made on synergy achievement and asset divestitures, we expect to achieve our goals of reducing debt by $1 billion by the end of fiscal 2019 and generating $1 billion of adjusted EBITDA in fiscal 2020, meaningfully contributing to total shareholder return,” added Harty.
Read the company’s report here.