Scripps Networks Net Growth in 4th Quarter

Scripps Networks Interactive reported higher fourth-quarter earnings, despite nearly flat advertising revenues.

Net income rose 21% to $132 million, or 96 cents a share, including a 6 cent charge for restructuring, from $109 million, or 73 cents a share, a year ago. The year-ago results included a 17 cents a share write down of goodwill.

Revenues rose 2.3% to $669 million. Advertising revenue rose just 0.7% to $454 million.

"The strength of our lifestyle media brands and the connections they make with consumers and advertisers enabled the company to maintain its record of growth and creating shareholder value for the quarter and the full year," CEO Ken Lowe said in a statement.  "The company is in a great position to capitalize on the many opportunities in an ever changing media environment."

For 2015, the company said it expected revenue to rise about 4%, cost of services to rise 8% to 10% and selling, general and administrative expenses to be down 2% to flat.

In the fourth quarter, Scripps Networks' Lifestyle media segment profits rose 1% to $298 million, pressured by restructuring expenses and higher program amortization costs.

Lifestyle media revenues rose 1.7% to $642 million. Affiliate fees grew 6.1% to $191 million, but ad revenues were up only 0.3% to $444 million, reflecting "softness in the advertising market and audience delivery at some of our networks," the company said.

Operating revenues were down 2.9% at Travel channel, off 1.1% at Food Network and dropped 2.6% at Great American Country. Operating revenues were up 4.4% at HGTV, 7% at DIY Network, and 9.8% at Cooking Channel.

Jon Lafayette

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.