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Crown Reports Higher Q4 Earnings

Crown Media Holdings reported higher fourth-quarter net income thanks to a strong performance of Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel during its traditionally strong holiday season.

Net income for common shareholders was $29.9 million, or 8 cents a share, up from $18.7 million or 5 cents a share a year ago

Revenues were up 10% to $90.7 million.

Advertising sales rose 19% to $81.7 million in the quarter. Ad sales at Hallmark Channel were up 14%, while ad revenue at Hallmark Movie Channel jumped 76% to $10.9 million.

Subscriber revenue fell 19% to $17.8 million because a year ago the company recognized delinquent fees after completing a carriage agreement with a multiple system operator.

"Our fourth quarter and holiday season continues to be a source of strength and interest to advertisers for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel," Bill Abbott, president and CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, said in a statement. "Advertising sales revenue from our highly sought after seasonal programming directly contributed to our EBITDA growth."

Abbott added: "We are pleased with our results from the quarter and the year, and are pursuing strategic initiatives that will continue to resonate with our viewers, advertisers and distributors."

Programming expenses rose 4% to $446.1 million because of increases in original production