Gannett Q3 Profit Up 11 Percent

Oct 12, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Strong political advertising revenue coupled with healthy advertising tied to the Summer Olympics helped Gannett’s broadcasting division post double-digit broadcast revenue growth in the third quarter, the company said today.

Overall, the newspaper and television company reported an 11 percent rise in third-quarter profit to $310.2 million, or $3.47 a share, versus a year-earlier profit of $279 million, or $3.15 a share. Revenue climbed 11 percent to $1.8 billion.

Gannett’s broadcasting division reported a 20 percent surge in revenue to $206.2 million, boosted by the strength of Olympics and political advertising during the quarter. Broadcast operating cash flow soared more than 34 percent to $106.6 million. The division includes the company’s 21 network-affiliated television stations and the Captivate Network, an entertainment and news service found in office elevators that Gannett purchased in April.

Excluding Captivate, Gannett’s broadcast division’s revenues rose 17 percent, while operating cash flow climbed more than 35 percent. Strong Olympics and political spending helped offset the impact of a string of hurricanes on Gannett’s properties in Florida.

Executives said Gannett’s TV stations booked $25 million to $30 million in Olympics-related advertising, while net political advertising revenue was between $20 million and $24 million. The company said political spending slowed toward the end of August and during September, but appears to be perking back up as the candidates enter the home stretch of the race.