Martha Posts Double-Digit Publishing, Internet Revenue Gains
Despite $50M deal, no Emeril Lagasse magazines planned.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia announced its fourth quarter earnings this morning, posting double-digit increases in revenue for its publishing and Internet businesses in 2007.
Net income per share was $0.20 for the full- year 2007, compared to a loss of $0.33 in 2006-a return to profitability for a brand that had been besieged by its namesake’s stock scandal and subsequent incarceration.
Publishing revenues increased 15 percent to $49.4 million in the fourth quarter, led by strong advertising gains at Martha Stewart Living (12 percent in ad pages). Advertising in the first quarter of 2008 is up approximately five percent, the company said. Revenue is expected to be $40 million for the quarter. The company raised ratebases for Martha Stewart Living (2,000,000), Everyday Food (900,000) and Body + Soul at 550,000. (The company will not have any revenue from the defunct Blueprint, which accounted for $7 million in 2007.)
The publishing division’s operating loss was $1.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2007, compared to an operating loss of $2.2 million in the same period in 2006, while the company’s adjusted EBITDA was $0.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2007, compared to a loss of $1.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2006.
Also today, the company announced an agreement with Chef Emeril Lagasse to acquire the non-restaurant assets related for $50 million in cash and stock. During a conference call, MSLO CEO Susan Lyne said that while there is no plan to launch an Emeril Lagasse magazine, synergies between Lagasse’s brand and Everyday Food could help take "to the next level."
Overall, MSLO saw a 17.4 percent increase in publishing revenue to $183.7 million in 2007-by far its biggest segment.
The company’s Internet business grew to $19.2 million in 2007, up 21.6 percent over 2006. MSLO’s online advertising revenue increased 60 percent in the fourth quarter as page views to the company’s Web products grew 33 percent for the year. Advertising revenue is up 35 percent for the first quarter, the company said.