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Scripps Networks Interactive's Results Affected by Network Stake Sale

Adjusted for the sale of a sports network a year ago, Scripps Networks Interactive turned in strong earnings, with good U.S. ad sales growth.

First-quarter net income fell 27% to $199.9 million, or $1.53 per share, compared with $290.9 million, or $2.24 per diluted share, for the prior year period. The prior year results include the sale of an investment in Fox Sports South to Fox. Adjusted net income was up 20%.

Revenues rose 4.7% to $855 million.

Scripps Networks also announced that it was expanding its relationship with Snapchat and will be creating new food and home-related shows for Snapchat's Discover platform.

Income from the company’s U.S. networks fell to $369.8 million from $554.7 million a year ago, before the regional sports network sale. Adjusted for the sale, segment profit was up 5.6% to $383.6 million.

Revenues rose 4.9% to $736.9 million. Ad revenues rose 5.1% to $512.1 million. Distribution revenue rose 4.5% to $211 million.

“The momentum we saw in 2016 has continued into 2017. Underpinning our success is our unwavering focus on lifestyle content that creates a unique viewing environment and inspires the lives of our viewers and fans each day,” said CEO Ken Lowe (pictured). “Over the last several months, we finalized long-term agreements with some of our distribution partners, continuing with yesterday’s announcement regarding Hulu’s new virtual product offering. As we broaden our reach globally, and on new platforms and digital channels, the enduring relationships that we have built with viewers is paying off in the form of consistent, long-term value creation for advertisers, distributors and shareholders.”

Operating revenue at HGTV rose 5.3% to $286.1 million. Food Network was up 6.1% to $243.4 million and Travel Channel edged up 1.9% to $82.3 million. The smaller networks had mixed results, with DIY down 2.5% to $40.5 million, Cooking Channel jumping 11% to $36.6 million and Great American Country down 1.4% to $7.2 million.

Scripps Networks’ digital businesses were up 4.3% to $30.2 million.