Radio-TV group’s net revenue fell 2%, operating income dropped 16%.
Saga Communications Inc. today reported net operating revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2006, decreased 2.0% from the comparable period in 2005 to $31.2 million; operating income decreased 15.8% to $4.5 million and station operating expense was approximately flat with the same period last year at $24.7 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations).
Net income decreased 29.6% to $1.5 million ($.07 per fully diluted share) for the first quarter, compared to $2.2 million ($.10 per fully diluted share) for 2005. Free cash flow increased to $1.9 million for the quarter from $671 thousand for the comparable period last year. On a same station basis for the year, net operating revenue decreased 3.9% to $30.6 million, operating income decreased 15.8% to $4.5 million and station operating expense decreased 2.5% to $24.1 million.
Capital expenditures in the first quarter of 2006 were approximately $2.0 million with approximately $400,000 being spent as a result of acquisitions.
Saga owns or operates broadcast properties in 26 markets, including 57 FM and 30 AM radio stations, three state radio networks, two farm radio networks, five television stations and four low-power television stations. As previously disclosed, Saga has entered into an agreement to acquire an FM station serving the Asheville, N.C., radio market. The closing of this transaction is subject to receiving FCC approval.