Scripps Networks Ad Revs Steady, Earnings Dip

Scripps Networks Interactive -- home to the Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel -- says advertising revenues continued to be strong in the fourth quarter of 2012.

In its earning release, Scripps says U.S. ad revenues grew 4.3% to $409 million, with affiliate fees rising 15% to $167 million. International revenues grew to $20 million from $5.6 million.

Overall, it says ad revenues grew 5.1% and affiliate fees swelled 18%. Company-wide revenues were up 9.2% to $605 million. The company says revenues should continue to climb in the 7% to 9% range for 2013.

Scripps says fourth-quarter 2012 advertising scatter inventory -- a measure of near-term advertising market strength -- has been up by single-digit percentages on the cost per thousand viewers over the scatter market in 2011, and mid-teen percentages CPM increases versus the upfront market in June-July 2012.

Currently, first-quarter 2013 marketplace continues on the same pace -- up single-digit increases over the scatter marketplace in 2012 and mid-teen percentage hikes over last summer's upfront marketplace.

Strong-moving categories include food, retail, consumer packaged goods, financial and automotive.

Scripps Networks Interactive posted net income of $306 million -- up from $135 million, in large part stemming from a favorable tax adjustment. Looking at operating income, it declined $219 million from $233 million. Key here was a $19.71 million writedown.

Investors didn't like the news. In midday trading, the company's stock price was $59.26 -- down 4.8%.

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