Discovery Communications said first-quarter profit rose 8.7% as the company was able to increase the amount of revenue it gleans from distributing its programming via cable and satellite outlets, even as advertising revenue was nearly flat in the U.S. and declined overseas.
Discovery said net income available to the company rose to $250 million, or 37 cents per share, in the first quarter, compared with $230 million, or 33 cents per share, a year earlier.
Revenue in the quarter came to$1,537 million, an increase of $126 million, or 9%, compared with the year-earlier period. Overall revenue at its U.S. networks rose by 6% and overall revenue at its overseas operations increased by 10%.
At Discovery’s U.S. networks, revenue came to $749 million, compared with $706 million in the year-earlier period, driven largely by a 13% increase in distribution rates and the consolidation of revenue from the kids-focused cable-TV network once known as The Hub. . Advertising grew just 1%, and Discovery said its ratings in the period were lower.
Revenue at the company’s international networks came to $735 million, compared with $667 million in the year-earlier period. Revenue from distribution rose 17%, while advertising revenue fell 1%.