The gain is attributed to a big increase in political advertising over last year and a solid 5.6% increase in core advertising.
Revenue for the Meredith broadcasting group rose 9% to $86.6 million in the second quarter of 2006 compared with the same period of 2005, thanks to an extra $3 million in political advertising and a 5.6% increase in core national and local advertising, the parent Meredith Corp. reported this morning.
The revenue growth helped broadcasting’s bottom lines in the quarter. Operating profit for the division increased 21% to $29 million and EBITDA grew 17% to $35 million. EBITDA margin increased nearly three percentage points to 40.5%.
Broadcasting pacings in the third quarter—the percentage increase over 3Q 2005—are currently running up in the mid-single digits, Meredith said. “Political advertising generally books late,ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â it said.
Meredith Corp. is primarily a magazine and book publisher. Eighty percent of its revenue comes from publishing, 20% from broadcasting.
This morning it reported results for its fiscal year ending June 30. That means the second quarter results are actually its fourth quarter.
Overall, the corporation reported that fiscal 2006 earnings per share rose 14% to $2.86. Income from operations grew 17% to $267 million and EBITDA rose 19% to $312 million.
Corporate revenues rose 31% to $1.6 billion in fiscal 2006 and advertising revenues increased 29% to $952 million. On a comparable basis (excluding Parents, Family Circle, Fitness, Child and Ser Padres magazines, which were acquired on July 1, 2005), Meredith’s revenues grew 5% to $1.3 billion and advertising revenues rose 4% to $764 million.
Meredith cited the continuing improvement of the broadcasting division in news, noting that four stations’ late newscasts were the market leader in households in the May 2006 ratings.
In Phoenix, CBS affiliate KPHO finished No. 1 in the market for the first time ever, the company said. In Portland, the 10 p.m. newscast of Fox affiliate KPTV had a higher rating than any other late newscast in the market. In Hartford, CBS affiliate WFSB continued its long-standing market leadership. And, in Kansas City, CBS affiliate KCTV was number No. 1 for the ninth sweeps period in a row.
The Meredith station group includes 12 full-power TV stations and two low-power TV stations—all but one of which is affiliated with a Big Four network. Its biggest station is WGCL Atlanta.