Meredith Corp. has reported fiscal third quarter net earnings of $33.3 million, up more than 30 percent from $24.8 million during the same period last year. Meanwhile, through the first nine months of its fiscal calendar, the Des Moines, Iowa-based publisher reported $70.6 million net earnings, a 15 percent gain over last year.
Revenues during the fiscal third quarter were $353.3 million, compared to $337.6 million during the same period in 2009. The company reported $1.02 billion through the first nine months, versus $1.06 billion last year.
Meredith’s national media group—its magazine publishing division—saw its operating profit grow 6 percent during the third quarter to $51 million. Total revenues increased 2 percent to $285 million while advertising revenues climbed 4 percent to $137 million. "While our advertising growth was encouraging, we are still well below historic levels established prior to the recession in both our national and local businesses," chairman and CEO Stephen Lacy says in a release. "The marketplace remains very volatile on both a month-to-month and client-by-client basis. Our competitive advantage lies in the strength of our brands and the relevance of our content."
The group saw its share of overall magazine industry advertising reach 12.4 percent during the period, up from 11.2 percent the prior year. Revenues at Meredith Interactive jumped more than 20 percent during the period. Monthly average unique visitors across Meredith’s national media group Web sites rose more than 30 percent to 20 million, and monthly page views averaged more than 230 million, Meredith says.
Meredith projects ad revenues company-wide will increase 7 percent to 8 percent during the fiscal fourth quarter for As of March 31, Meredith carried $315 million in debt, down $65 million from the end of the end of the prior fiscal year.
Martha’s Losses Lessen
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia reported an operating loss of $3.3 million during the first three months of 2010, a significant improvement over the $15.4 million loss it reported during the same period last year. Revenues were $53.2 million, up about 5 percent from $50.4 million during the first quarter in 2009.
MSLO’s publishing division revenues for the first quarter were $28.3 million, flat over $28.4 million last year. It reported an operating loss of $1.1 million versus a loss of $nearly $2 million during the same period in 2009. The losses were driven, in part, by decreased subscription revenues.
Online revenue increased nearly 20 percent to $3.1 million during the first quarter, the company says. However, it reported an operating loss of $1.5 million (compared to a loss of $2 million last year).
MSLO’s broadcasting group reported an operating income of $3.2 million versus to $800,000 during the same period last year. Merchandising saw its operating income grow to $5.3 million, compared to a $1.8 million loss in 2009.