Growth was driven primarily by the addition of KMOV St. Louis and KTVK Phoenix; a strong political cycle led by its stations in Phoenix, Hartford and Kansas City; and a higher net retransmission contribution.
Meredith Corp.’s Local Media Group — which consists of 17 television stations reaching 11% of U.S. TV households — generated revenue of $130 million in its fiscal fourth quarter, an increase of 17% from the previous 4Q. Operating profit grew 60% to a $40 million.
For the full fiscal 2015, Local Media Group operating profit increased 44% to a record $163 million. Excluding special items in both periods, operating profit and adjusted EBITDA grew more than 35% each to $169 million and $206 million, respectively. Adjusted EBITDA margin was 39%. Revenues increased 33% to $534 million.
Looking more closely at fiscal 2015 financial performance compared to the prior year:
- Total advertising revenues increased 35% to $400 million, an all-time record.
- Non-political advertising revenues grew 23% to $357 million. Results were led by acquired stations in Phoenix, St. Louis, Mobile and Springfield, along with strong digital advertising revenue performance.
- Political advertising revenues were $44 million, a record high. Performance was led by newly acquired stations in St. Louis and Phoenix, along with Meredith’s existing stations in Phoenix, Hartford and Kansas City.
- Other revenues and operating expenses increased, due primarily to growth in retransmission revenues from cable and satellite television operators and higher programming fees paid to affiliated networks, along with increases from recent acquisitions.
“Our television expansion strategy continues to drive growth in revenue and profit,” said Meredith Local Media Group President Paul Karpowicz. “We have successfully integrated the four stations we acquired, while also delivering stronger financial performance from our existing stations. Looking ahead, we are focused on continued growth across our group — including from our digital and mobile platforms — while actively looking for opportunities to add to our portfolio.”
For the company as a whole, Meredith reported , fiscal 2015 earnings per share of $3.30, compared to $2.80, an 18% increase. Fiscal 2015 revenues rose 9% to a record $1.6 billion, including 15% growth in advertising revenues.