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AMC Reports Higher Second-Quarter Earnings

AMC Networks reported higher second-quarter profits despite a double-digit drop in domestic ad sales.

Net income rose to $129 million, or $2.25 per share, from $106 million, or $1.82 million.

Net revenue rose 1.4% to $722 million. Revenue at the company’s national networks was down 3.6%, with international and other growing by 22.4%, boosted by the acquisition of RJE.

The company said it completed its upfront ad sales for the 2019-20 TV season, achieving double-digit CPM gains at AMC, led by strong demand for its original programming.

AMC also said it direct-to-consumer services recorded “impressive” year-over-year growth in revenue and subscribers.

At AMC domestic national networks, operating income was up 2% to $214 million despite a 3.6% drop in revenue to $605 million. Distribution revenue was up 1.3% to $385 million, thanks to an increase in licensing revenue.

Domestic advertising revenue were down 11.1% to $219 million. The company blamed the timing of original programming and lower audience deliveries, offset by higher ad prices.

Earlier this month, AMC said it made a deal with Universal Studios for the theatrical release of a Walking Dead film starring Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes. Grimes, the star of the original Walking Dead series, left the zombie drama last year. His appearance in films is one way AMC hopes to keep the lucrative franchise alive.

“We delivered solid results in the second quarter and remain on track to deliver on our financial targets for the full year. We continue to make significant progress on our strategic goals, which include creating great content and diversifying our revenue,” said CEO Josh Sapan.

“As we continue to remain focused on creating sought-after premium content –which propels our entire enterprise – we believe direct-to-consumer, along with owning more of our intellectual property and expanding our studio, represent significant growth areas for us,” Sapan said.