Scripps reports 38% profit increase for fourth quarter

In its outlook for 2011, the cable group says programming expenses will increase 6% to 9%.
February 10, 2011

Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI) saw a profit boost of 38% for the fourth quarter of 2010, driven by strong performances from its Lifestyle Media segment, including the cable nets HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel, and by double-digit growth in ad and affiliate fee revenue.

Consolidated revenues for the quarter rose 33% to US$573 million from the prior year. For the Lifestyle Media segment, revenue was $501 million, up 32%. Advertising revenue was $353 million, up 23%. Excluding contributions from Travel Channel, which Scripps acquired in late 2009, Lifestyle Media revenue was up 17%, and ad revenue was up 10%. Profit for the segment was up 48 percent to $248 million compared with $168 million the year before.

For the full year, consolidated operating revenue in 2010 was $2.1 billion, up from $1.5 billion in the prior year. Consolidated net income rose 37% to $411 million. Profit from the Lifestyle Media segment rose to $904 million, up 42% from the prior year.

During a conference call to discuss the financials, executives said that while ratings for the Food Network and other Scripps nets have been challenged by strong performances from the NFL, the outlook for 2011 forecasts programming expenses to increase 6% to 9%, and total revenue to increase 10% to 12%.

“Looking ahead, we’ll be unveiling a wealth of exciting new programming ideas and concepts across all of our networks that we believe will further define and secure our competitive advantage as leader in lifestyle programming,” said SNI chairman, president and CEO Kenneth W. Lowe in a statement.

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