Three major magazine publishers—Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, McGraw-Hill and United Business Media—today released their second quarter and first half financial reports. The results were mixed but also showed some encouraging performance.

MSLO reported $144.9 million in revenue for the first half 2008, up slightly from $140.5 million during the same period in 2007. The company posted an operating loss of $2.8 million compared to a $20.3 million loss last year. Revenues in the publishing division were about $87 million, down from about $88 million in 2007.

Second quarter revenues at MSLO were $77.1 million, up about 5 percent over $73.4 during the same period last year. Operating income for the quarter was $1.7 million, compared to a loss of $7.8 million over the same period last year. Revenue for the publishing division was $46.2 million, down only about 3 percent because, in part, of increased advertising revenue, the company said.

BusinessWeek parent McGraw-Hill reported $2.89 billion in revenue over the first half of 2008, down 4.1 percent from the same period in 2007. Net income for the first half was $293.4 million, down 30.3 percent from $420.9 million last year. Revenue in its information and media division, however, was up 5.1 percent to $510.3 million.

For the second quarter, McGraw-Hill’s revenue declined by 2.6 percent to $1.7 billion. Net income for the second quarter decreased 23.4 percent to $212.3 million, compared to the same period last year. Information and media division revenue was reported at $266.9 million, up 6.8 percent from $235.1 million last year. Revenue from the b-to-b subdivision, which includes BusinessWeek and Aviation Week, jumped 7.8 percent to $240.4 million.

BusinessWeek’s ad revenues for the first half 2008 were $116.7 million, down 11.3 percent from the same period in 2007, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.

London-based United Business Media, which broke CMP Technology into four separate businesses earlier this year, saw its first half revenue ($886.8 million) increase 10.4 percent from about $803 million in 2007. Group operating profit for the half was about $150 million, jumping 24.8 percent over about $120.2 million over the same period last year.

UBM’s profit spike was due mostly to tradeshows and exhibitions, business intelligence products and services, and news distribution activities, the company said.