Scripps Networks Interactive, which runs lifestyle cable nets including Food Network and HGTV, reported third quarter net income of $57.3 million, down 1% from the pro forma year-earlier frame.
Spun off from E.W. Scripps in July, the Web and cable company posted a 9% revenue gain to $375 million and said profit would have increased without a $9.2 million charge related to the spinoff.
Two key drivers of revenue in the period ended Sept. 30 were primetime ratings at Food Network, which were its highest ever for a quarter, and traffic at Web properties Shopzilla and uSwitch.
In the key Lifestyle Media segment, profits rose 5% to $144 million. Ad revenue was up 5.4% to $236 million. Affiliate fee revenue reached $69.9 million, up nearly 16%.
On the expense side, programming, marketing and other costs increased 8% to $129 million, while employee costs soared 22% to $44.4 million. Execs attributed rising expenses partly to an expansion of interactive content and more aggressive marketing of Food Network, DIY and Fine Living.
Shares in SNI closed up more than 5% Wednesday at $27.50.