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Meredith Reports Q3 Profit Surge

Apr 26, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Meredith Corp.’s television operation proved the exception to the rule Tuesday, reporting for its fiscal third quarter a slight increase in revenue and a sizable surge in operating profit-defying the tradition of reporting declines during nonpolitical years.

Meredith, which owns or operates 14 network-affiliated television stations, said its station group posted a 14 percent rise in operating profit to $16.2 million for the three months ended March 31, while revenue rose 1 percent to $69.8 million.

The company attributed the gains to its acquisition of two television stations last year, in Kansas City, Mo., and Chattanooga, Tenn. In addition, several of the company’s TV stations reported ratings improvements during their news programs. Those factors offset a drop in political advertising and the absence of the Super Bowl, which in 2004 aired on the company’s six CBS affiliates, many of which are located in larger markets. By comparison, this year’s Super Bowl was carried on the company’s four Fox affiliates, all of which are based in mid-size markets.

The overall results helped the Des Moines, Iowa-based company report a 13 percent rise in net income to $35.2 million for the fiscal third quarter, compared with a year-earlier figure of $31.2 million. Revenue for the company rose 2 percent to $305.5 million.