Meredith Reports Fiscal 2021 Second Quarter And First Half Results

“Our audiences are engaging with Meredith’s trusted brands more than ever before, and our advertisers are responding in kind – both factors driving our record second quarter revenue and profit performance even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact certain aspects of our business,” said Meredith Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tom Harty. “Of particular note, National Media Group digital advertising revenues surpassed magazine advertising for the first time, marking a historic accomplishment and a critical piece of our long-term strategy.

“Our newer licensing and ecommerce initiatives produced strong results; Local Media Group political advertising revenues exceeded our expectations; and magazine and non-political spot television advertising continued to recover sequentially,” Harty continued. “Finally, our efforts to enhance financial flexibility and manage costs, particularly within our legacy magazine business, continue to produce tangible results including growth in operating profit and free cash flow and net debt reduction.”

Fiscal 2021 second quarter revenues grew 11 percent to a record $902 million from the prior-year period. Highlights from the second quarter of fiscal 2021 included:

A 22 percent increase in National Media Group digital advertising revenues from the prior-year period. Sessions to Meredith’s owned and operated and network sites grew 16 percent from the prior-year period, led by the PEOPLE, Allrecipes, Martha Stewart Living, and InStyle brands.
A 96 percent increase in Local Media Group political spot and digital advertising from the prior election cycle two years ago. Performance was led by the Phoenix and Atlanta markets, which combined accounted for approximately 60 percent of total political advertising revenues.
A 34 percent increase in National Media Group digital consumer/licensing revenues from the prior-year period. Performance was driven by Apple News+, strong sales of Better Homes & Gardens-branded products at Walmart stores across the United States and at, and ecommerce via other retail partners.
Continued sequential year-over-year improvement in Meredith’s magazine and non-political television advertising platforms. Both comparable National Media Group magazine advertising and Local Media Group non-political advertising revenues declined in the mid-teens from the prior-year period.
As a result of this performance, fiscal 2021 second quarter earnings from continuing operations more than doubled to $149 million from the prior-year period. Adjusted EBITDA grew 57 percent to $304 million.

Fiscal 2021 second quarter cash flow from operations and free cash flow each more than doubled to $183 million and $174 million, respectively, from the prior-year period, as Meredith benefited from record revenues, lower employee-related items, and lower restructuring payments.

Fiscal 2021 first half revenues grew 4 percent to $1.6 billion from the prior-year period. Earnings from continuing operations more than doubled to $191 million. Adjusted EBITDA grew 41 percent to $448 million.

Meredith had cash and cash equivalents of $379 million as of December 31, 2020, up from $201 million at September 30, 2020, and maintained a zero balance on its $350 million revolving credit facility. Net debt reduction remains Meredith’s No. 1 priority.
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