Meredith Magazines Triple Revenues, Aggressively Attacks Debt

Just last week, Meredith Corporation announced the finalization of its sale of Time magazine, the flagship property it acquired along with the rest of Time Inc.’s portfolio in January. The title sold for $190 million in cash and was a bright mark on the company’s first-quarter report for fiscal year 2019.

The report shows Meredith’s continued dedication to lowering its overall debt and the work being done to leverage its new stable of titles to create even stronger digital brands and revenue. 

The company’s National Media Group, which contains its magazine publishing division, reported tripled revenues of $543 million in the first quarter of 2019. Results for the National Media Group excluded operations for TimeSports IllustratedFortune, Money and Viant.

The company expects to close on the sale of Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Money in fiscal 2019. The company will also sell its 60% investment in Viant.

Total company revenues grew by more than 90%, coming in at $757 million and total advertising-related revenues doubled to $423 million. 

Earlier this year, Meredith announced it would synergize $550 million of its operational costs over its properties and those acquired through the Time Inc. merger. Meredith also saw improved advertising revenue across its properties in Q1 and expects revenue to improve through the remainder of fiscal 2019.

Additionally, Meredith has focused on growing the profit margins of its acquired Time Inc. digital properties and reports it is now well-positioned to see growth across advertising platforms that include native, video, shopper marketing, programmatic and social.

The company saw an increase in digital advertising revenue in Q1 and expects that trend to continue.

During the first quarter of fiscal 2019, 42% of the National Media Group’s total revenues came from consumer-related revenues, a consistently lucrative area for Meredith.

The company plans to sustain this through cross-promotion, the leveraging of affinity marketer Synapse, continued growth of its brand licensing business and an expansion of ecommerce activities.

Meredith Corporation CEO Tom Harty stated: "Performance was driven by record demand for political advertising in our Local Media Group and improved sequential comparable print advertising performance, along with strong expense discipline in our National Media Group.

"As a result, we delivered significantly improved year-over-year adjusted EBITDA and margins, which we expect will continue through fiscal 2019.”

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