Revenues were up for Meredith’s National Media Group in its fiscal year 2013 earnings report, as the company saw big returns from digital advertising and continued success with its Sales Guarantee program. Recent acquisitions skewed the results however.
The company’s overall revenues were up 7 percent year-over-year to $1.5 billion, with operating profits ahead 13 percent to $211 million.
Meredith’s National Media Group, which includes its magazine properties and makes up about three quarters of the company’s total earnings, saw revenues rise 3 percent to $1.1 billion, while margins went up 4 percent to $138 million.
The group’s year-over-year growth numbers are skewed with the mid-FY2012 acquisitions of EveryDay with Rachel Ray, FamilyFun and Allrecipes.com however, Meredith notes in the report.
As such, the National Media Group’s aggregate advertising revenues were up 5 percent to $515 million, but declined 6 percent on a comparable basis that accounts for the previously-held titles only. That comparable ad income—which also declined 3 percent in FY2012 following the acquisitions—continues a trend of dwindling ad revenues that runs back several years.
Similarly, digital advertising grew 62 percent overall and 12 percent on a comparable basis.
Including both the National and Local Media Groups, digital advertising made up 11 percent of Meredith’s total advertising revenue in FY2013. The company’s digital operations may be for a shakeup however. Liz Schimel, Meredith’s chief digital officer, left the company to head Condé Nast International’s China business last week. Meredith has yet to name a replacement.
The company also stated that its Sales Guarantee program continued to return $7.81 for every dollar spent, a number first released in its third quarter report.
Meredith was positive, but more vague about its circulation revenues, saying they were "higher in fiscal 2013 due to growth from existing, or comparable, titles, and the addition of EveryDay with Rachel Ray, FamilyFun and the Allrecipes magazine tests."
"We’re pleased that our strategic initiatives to strengthen our businesses—including magazine and digital media, circulation and brand licensing—are delivering top-line growth," Tom Harty, president of the National Media Group, says in a statement. "Meanwhile, our acquired brands are exceeding expectations and have improved our competitive position in the marketplace."