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AMC Reports Higher Profits in First Quarter

AMC Networks continued to ride the strength of original shows like The Walking Dead to higher profits in the first quarter.

Net income rose 70% to $120.9 million, or $1.66 a share, from 71.4 million, or 98 cents a share a year ago.

Revenues rose 27.5% to $669 million.

Cash flow at AMC’s national networks, including AMC, WE tv, and IFC, rose 42.5% to $253.3 million. Revenues rose 25.4% to $562.8 million.  Ad revenues rose 25.3% to $260 million because of strong demand for original programming, plus the inclusion of BBC America, the company said.

AMC Networks took a 49.9% stake in BBC America for $200 million and has consolidated it into its operations.

"AMC Networks is off to a strong start in 2015, with returns on our content investments generating significant growth in our revenues, AOCF and operating income," CEO Josh Sapan said in a statement. "Viewers continue to embrace our original programming, including AMC's The Walking Dead and our new original series Better Call Saul, which was the most-watched new series on cable in key advertiser demos, this broadcast season."

Sapan added: “Our international business is developing well, with our portfolio of global channels and strong local brands benefitting from growing demand from distributors. AMC Networks continues to operate from a position of strength, with high quality programming, clearly defined brands and strong audience support that drives financial performance and our ability to create value for shareholders.”

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.