Meredith Corp released its Q4 and fiscal year results for 2020 today, revealing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its finances, but also showing an increased interest in its brands by consumers.
Meredith President-Chief Executive Officer Tom Harty stated: "While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to materially impact our business, we saw continued strong consumer engagement along with improvement in advertising-revenue performance during the course of the fourth quarter, particularly for our digital and broadcast properties. Additionally, we continue to take proactive action to maximize free cash flow, ensure ample liquidity, and enhance our financial flexibility.”
Strategic portfolio changes and political advertising also impacted the company’s revenues and earnings.
Q4 saw a decline of 22% in revenues for the prior-year period at $611 million. The change came as a result of ad cancellations and delays due to COVID-19 and magazine portfolio adjustments, amounting to a decline of $176 million.
Earnings for Q4 from continuing operations were $6 million. The year prior saw a loss of $4 million.
Adjusted EBITDA came in at $80 million for Q4, compared to $169 million during the same period the prior year. Cash flow increased by 33% from the same period in 2019.
Consumer-related revenues, such as magazine subscriptions, retransmission fees and brand-licensing agreements, made up 54% of the company’s Q4 revenues.
Consumer metrics also increased during Q4, with total visits to National Media Group sites growing by 14%. The company notes that much of this growth was driven by Allrecipes, Shape and Martha Stewart. Local Media Group sites saw an increase in visits of 20%.
Meredith also saw an 8% increase in revenues from licensing and digital and other consumer-driven activities, thanks to royalties from Apple News+, ecommerce product sales and lead generation referrals.
Fiscal 2020 full year revenues declined by 11% from the year prior to $2.8 billion, while full year loss from continuing operations was $209 million. Last year continuing operations earning amounted to $129 million. Adjusted EBITDA for fiscal 2020 was $548 million, compared to $796 million in the year prior. However, cash flow from operations increased by 25% to $307.