AMC Networks said first quarter profit rose even as it navigated declines in revenue and operating income in the midst of a challenging environment.
The New York owner of the AMC, IFC and Sundance cable networks said net income came to $87 million, or $2.02 per share, compared with $68.7 million, or $1.22 per share in the year-earlier period. Earnings came to $2.98 per share when debt and impairment charges are taken into consideration.
Revenue fell 5.8% to $691.7 million, compared with $734.4 million in the year-earlier quarter.
Like many other media companies, AMC Networks placed emphasis on its efforts to lure consumers who are migrating to streaming video. AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan said the company is on track to reach at least 9 million streaming subscribers by the end of 2021. The company has worked to bring its content to new viewing windows, including niche streaming services and new broadband outlets created for viewers of connected TVs.
“We believe the high viewer engagement, efficient economic model, and pricing power of our streaming offerings provide us with important strategic advantages which, when coupled with our valuable linear channel offerings, will fuel our growth and continue to position us very well over the near and long term,” Sapan said in a prepared statement.
AMC said U.S. advertising revenue fell 7% to $199 million due to lower audiences and shifts in the airing of original programming. Distribution revenue fell 6% to $375 million. International and other revenue, meanwhile, declined 3% to $121 million, due to the closure of live venues at a unit that was spun off and shortfalls in distribution fees.