Improving advertising sales at its core cable networks and international expansion helped drive solid fourth-quarter and full-year gains for Scripps Networks Interactive.
Scripps Networks reported a 7.8% gain in advertising revenue for the quarter to $478.4 million and affiliate fee growth of 4.6% to $199.6 million. The parent company of Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel said the gains were powered by a “strengthening of advertiser demand for our lifestyle brands.” Affiliate fee gains came from contractual rate increases as well as expanded distribution for Cooking Channel and DIY Network.
Total revenue for SNI in the fourth quarter reached $851.8 million, while net income grew to $164.7 million, or $1.27 per share, up from $131.8 million, or 96 cents a share in the year-ago quarter.
Improvements at the cable networks, which suffered ratings declines in 2014 and 2015, were offset by higher programming costs for what the company described as “a record” number of new shows premiering on its lifestyle channel. SNI also took write-offs on programming at Travel Channel following a management transition last year.
SNI has also focused on international growth in the past few years. The company’s acquisition of Poland’s TVN cable channel is starting to pay off. International operating revenues grew to $163 million in the quarter, up from $135.7 million. International segment profit climbed to $36.4 million compared to a loss of $8 million in the year-ago quarter.
“Our core television lifestyle networks are growing in demand by viewers and advertisers, while our international expansion continues to make a significant contribution to the overall robust health of the company,” said Kenneth W. Lowe, SNI’s chairman-CEO.
(Pictured: Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”)