Meredith Records Mixed Q2: Revenue Drops, But Digital Advertising Rises

Meredith Corp. is reporting mixed results across its Q2 revenue report, including a drop in revenue and boost to digital advertising.

Total company revenues came in at $811 million, down from $878 million during the same period last year.

The company says this drop is due, in large part, to changes within both its Local and National Media Groups. Those include a decrease in cyclical political spot advertising revenues of $61 million in the Local Media Group and a decrease in advertising and subscription revenues attributed to portfolio changes. Those include closures, combinations and changes to rate base and frequency in the National Media Group.

During Q2 2020, the National Media Group saw revenues of $597 million, compared to $616 million during the prior year period, and an operating profit of $101 million. Setting records for a fiscal second quarter, the group’s operating profit was $92 million when special items were excluded; its adjusted EBITDA was $141 million.

Total ad-related revenues dropped by 1% to $302 million, again due to portfolio changes. However, People reported revenue growth across print advertising. People, the company’s largest magazine brand, saw a double-digit revenue lift in this area.

Digital advertising revenues grew by 8% and now account for 44% of total National Media Group advertising revenues. During the same period last year, digital advertising accounted for 40%. The company attributes growth to gains in traffic, impressions per visit and rates and strong video performance.

Consumer-related revenues were also impacted by portfolio changes that impacted subscription and newsstand revenues, declining by 10% to $264 million.

Changes came from transitioning titles like Coastal Living and Traditional Home to premium newsstand titles, merging Cooking Light into EatingWell and closing Family Circle, Money and Martha Stewart Weddings.

Meredith saw an increase of 13% across affinity marketing, licensing and digital and other consumer related revenues.

Recently, Meredith has added two celebrity-driven lifestyle magazines to its portfolio with Reveal, in partnership with Drew and Jonathan Scott, and a new quarterly with Ayesha Curry. It also relaunched Cooking Light, Coastal Living and Rachael Ray In Season as consumer-driven subscription and/or newsstand titles.

"We are encouraged by comparable revenue trends across our powerful and diversified National Media Group portfolio," said Meredith President-CEO Tom Harty. "At the same time, we continue to innovate, be it our newest titles with the Scott brothers and Ayesha Curry; repositioning popular brands as consumer-driven newsstand products; or continuing to develop our digital brands and capabilities for advertisers and consumers alike.”
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