David Zaslav Discovery
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Discovery Communications said its fourth-quarter profit rose 29% on improved performance, largely at its overseas TV operations.

The Silver Spring, Md., owner of cable networks like TLC, Discovery Network and Destination America, said net income in the fourth quarter, came to $289 million, or 81 cents per share, compared with $224 million, or 61 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.

Discovery’s fourth-quarter revenue totaled nearly $1.54 billion, rising about $337 million, or 28%, from the $1.2 billion the company generated in the year-earlier period. Discovery said revenues grew 64% at its international networks and 5% at its U.S. networks.

The company said adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization, a measure of underlying profitability, rose 21% at its overseas networks and 5% at its U.S. networks.

In a statement, David Zaslav, Discovery’s president and chief executive officer, said the company’s results “reflect the additional market share we are capturing around the globe as we further invest in our diverse content portfolio.” The company has been making investments in overseas holdings. In January, for example, Discovery acquired a controlling interest in Eurosport International, a collection of sports-themed TV operations.

At the company’s U.S. networks, fourth-quarter revenue  rose 5% to $740 million, as Discovery was able to secure more advertising and fees from video distributors.  The company said distribution revenue increased 7% as its younger. digital networks proved more popular with viewers. Advertising revenue increased 4% mainly due to increased pricing, the company said.

At Discovery’s international networks, revenue  increased 64% to $758 million, as advertising revenues
rose 119% and distribution revenues were up 31%. Excluding newly acquired businesses and foreign currency
fluctuations, total revenues were up 18%.

 

 

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