Scripps Reports Surge in Quarterly Profits

Oct 14, 2005  •  Post A Comment

The E.W. Scripps Co. reported Friday that its third-quarter profit surged 48 percent to $82.2 million, driven by continued strength at the company’s cable operations and strong growth at its online shopping Web site Shopzilla.

Revenue jumped 19 percent to $595 million.

The Scripps Networks cable operations continued to be a major source of growth for the Cincinnati-based company, recording a 38 percent rise in segment profit to $87.9 million and a 25 percent jump in revenue. The company said advertising revenue was up 27 percent to $163 million, while affiliate-fee revenue advanced 18 percent to $43.6 million.

Scripps Networks’ cable properties include Food Network, Home & Garden Television, Fine Living, DIY-Do It Yourself and Great American Country.

The gains in cable helped to offset declines reported by Scripps’ broadcast assets. The broadcast unit, which includes 10 television stations, posted a 10 percent decline in revenue to $72.8 million and a 36 percent drop in segment profit. The company attributed the broadcast segment’s results to a sharp drop in political advertising to around $1 million from $10.2 million a year earlier.

At Scripps’ Shop at Home Network, efforts to improve the electronic commerce strategy began to pay off in the third quarter, with revenue soaring 25 percent to $79.4 million while the segment loss was unchanged at $7.5 million. The company is changing its product mix and programming to shore up its business.

Shopzilla, the online shopping Web site that Scripps acquired earlier this year, reported a segment profit of $7.3 million versus a year-earlier $1.2 million, while revenue skyrocketed 121 percent to $35.2 million.