Meredith Station Quarterly Revenue Dips 1.6%
Meredith Corp. this morning reported that its station group’s fiscal third quarter revenue decreased 1.6% to $99.7 million from $101.3 million in the same quarter a year ago. The company delayed reporting for a few days, telling the SEC that the coronavirus pandemic resulted in “significant disruption of aspects of our business, including advertising cancellations and delays, reduced demand, loss or disruption of manufacturing and distribution capability, and quarantines and other government actions.”
The station group (“Local Media”) saw operating profit drop 41.4% to $24.4 million from $41.6 million and adjusted EBITDA increased 8.8% to $56.8 million.
The company as a whole reported quarterly total revenue of $702 million, down 6%, due primarily to (1) previously announced magazine portfolio adjustments to improve profitability that reduced advertising and consumer related revenues by a total of $40 million and (2) COVID-19 related advertising cancellations and delays that reduced revenues by $17 million.
These changes were partially offset by $10 million of incremental broadcasting political advertising revenues compared to the prior year period.
Over the last 12 months Meredith has taken action to drive a more profitable portfolio, including repositioning and closing certain brands.
Meredith recorded a loss from continuing operations of $289 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2020. The loss was due primarily to non-cash impairments of goodwill and intangible assets of $296 million as well as lease-related assets exited as part of ongoing synergy activities of $88 million.
Fiscal 2020 third quarter adjusted EBITDA was $152 million, compared to $161 million in the prior year, driven primarily by COVID-19-related declines in advertising, partially offset by increased political advertising.
Meredith Corp. President-CEO Tom Harty said: “Our performance for the fiscal 2020 third quarter was largely in-line with our expectations until mid-March when the outbreak of COVID-19 created an extremely challenging advertising environment. In response, we took a series of proactive steps to strengthen our liquidity and enhance our financial flexibility in the near-term to effectively navigate the current environment.
“In these unprecedented times, we are seeing several encouraging trends reinforcing the enduring value of Meredith’s powerful brands, including robust traffic to our digital properties, strong upticks in our ecommerce activities, increased viewership to our local newscasts, and solid subscription metrics,” Harty continued. “We remain confident in the strength and resilience of the diversified business model we have built.”
“Our top priorities are: (1) Keeping our employees safe; (2) Continuing to operate seamlessly; (3) Supporting our advertising and marketing partners; and (4) Maximizing free cash flow,” Harty concluded.
Read the company’s report here.