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Liberty Media Posts Q1 Profit

May 9, 2005  •  Post A Comment

John Malone’s Liberty Media reported Monday that it swung to a first-quarter profit, lifted by gains at Discovery Communications and the home-shopping network QVC.

Liberty reported a profit of $254 million for the period, compared with a year-earlier loss of $10 million. Revenue rose to $2 billion from $1.7 billion a year ago. The company did not hold a conference call to discuss its results because it expects to hold an investors meeting Thursday.

A main driver of Liberty’s growth was the performance at Discovery, which reported a 14 percent increase in revenue to $601 million. Operating cash flow rose to $148 million from a year-earlier figure of $137 million. Growth came from several areas, including higher advertising revenue and higher affiliate fees, both domestically and internationally.

QVC’s revenue rose 14 percent to $1.5 billion, while operating cash flow advanced 20 percent to $323 million, largely the result of higher sales.

Starz Entertainment Group, meanwhile, reported a 9 percent increase in revenue to $254 million, while operating cash flow sank 30 percent to $48 million. Though Starz saw its subscriber numbers grow in the quarter, the unit continued to get socked by high programming costs associated with its acquisition of first-run movies. For the quarter, Starz’s operating expenses rose 26 percent to $165 million.