Meredith Reports Fiscal 2018 First Quarter Results

Meredith Corporation (NYSE:MDP; — the leading media and marketing company with local television brands in large, fast-growing markets and national brands serving more than 110 million unduplicated American women every month — reported today fiscal 2018 first quarter results:
•Earnings per share were $0.73, including a gain of $0.04 per share related to the sale of a majority stake in the Family Circle Cup Tennis Center.
•Excluding this special item, earnings per share were $0.69. This compares to earnings per share of $0.75 in the prior-year period. Meredith recorded $0.20 per share less of political advertising revenues in the first quarter of fiscal 2018 than in the prior-year period, as expected in a non-political year. (See Tables 1-4 for supplemental disclosures regarding non-GAAP financial measures.)
•Total revenues were $393 million, compared to $400 million in the prior-year period, reflecting the absence of $15 million of political advertising revenue.

Meredith introduces an updated market positioning and logo that reflect the strength of Meredith’s national and local consumer media brands as well as its expanded portfolio of marketing solutions. (PRNewsFoto/Meredith Corporation) (PRNewsfoto/Meredith Corporation)

“We continued to aggressively execute our multi-faceted growth strategies, including growth in popular consumer brands such as Better Homes & Gardens and Magnolia Journal; expansion of our highly profitable digital activities across the Company; and record retransmission revenues and related contribution in our television business, resulting in record performance for a non-political first quarter,” said Meredith Chairman and CEO Stephen M. Lacy.

Looking more closely at Meredith’s fiscal 2018 first quarter compared to the prior-year period:
•Local Media Group revenues were $154 million, operating profit was $41 million and EBITDA was $49 million, all record highs for a non-political first quarter. Non-political advertising revenues increased 4 percent to $88 million, led by growth in the Atlanta, Phoenix and St. Louis markets. Digital advertising revenues grew 14 percent. Other revenues increased 24 percent, primarily due to growth in retransmission-related revenues.
•National Media Group revenues were $239 million. Operating profit grew 17 percent to $28 million. Excluding the special item in the first quarter of fiscal 2018, operating profit grew 4 percent to $25 million, driven primarily by lower operating expenses in Meredith’s magazine business. Circulation revenues grew slightly compared to the prior-year period.
•Total Company digital advertising revenues were a fiscal first quarter record. Traffic across Meredith’s digital properties increased to 83 million average monthly unique visitors. National Media Group digital advertising revenues accounted for 30 percent of National Media Group advertising revenues.

“We continued to take steps to strengthen our brands, both at the Local and National levels, and these initiatives are yielding increasing consumer engagement,” said Meredith President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Harty. “We also executed on our ongoing program of disciplined expense management, which helped generate strong operating profit growth in our National Media Group.”
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