Stronger than expected Q2 for Scripps | Major Businesses | Business
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Probably the most active company in broadcast industry M&As, EW Scripps has seen a second-quarter of 2019 with significantly increased revenues mitigated by losses from continuing operations.

cordillera 30Oct2018For the quarter ended 30 June 2019, EW Scripps generated revenue of $337 million compared with $283 million in the second quarter of 2018. Losses from continuing operations were $400,000 with pre-tax costs for the quarter including $2.8 million of acquisition and related integration costs and $1 million of restructuring charges that increased the loss by $2.8 million, net of taxes. At the end of the corresponding quarter a year ago, income from continuing operations was $8.7 million. The 2018 quarter included $2.3 million of restructuring costs that decreased income from continuing operations by $1.7 million.

Local US media core advertising revenue, on an adjusted combined basis, rose 1% in the second quarter, factoring out incremental benefit from the Cleveland Cavaliers’ NBA Finals appearance in 2018. US national media division revenue increased 44% to $98.5 million, including $10 million from Triton, which was acquired on 30 November 2019. Katz Networks, Stitcher and Newsy all exceeded expectations for revenue growth, driving National Media segment profit to reach $6.6 million.

The quarter included the acquisition of 15 television stations from Cordillera Communications and as a result, fiscal data for the company’s local media division has been stated both as reported and on an adjusted combined basis as though the stations acquired from Cordillera and Raycom Media had closed on 1 January 2018. In addition, all operating results comparisons are to the Scripps historical results for the second quarter of 2018.

The $337 million revenue, an increase of 19% compared with the prior-year quarter, included $9.9 million from Triton, and $31.3 million from the television stations acquired from Raycom and Cordillera, effective 1 May 2019.

The quarter also saw the acquisition of eight TV stations in seven US markets being divested by Nexstar in its transaction with Tribune Media. That deal is expected to close in the third quarter, and will make Scripps the fourth-largest independent local broadcaster, with 60 television stations in 42 markets reaching 31% of US television households.

Commenting on the business highlights, Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson said that the second quarter results were stronger than envisaged in the previous quarter, in particular as regarded company segment profit and earnings per share.

“Improving our short-term operating results has been one of our highest priorities over the last two years, and we have steadily executed on our plan,” the chief executive remarked on teh public. “Also instrumental to our short-term performance improvement plan is our aggressive pursuit of a clearly articulated M&A strategy that will help us build a more powerful and durable portfolio of television stations. With the transactions...we will emerge as the fourth-largest independent local broadcaster, enhancing our financial durability and vastly improving cash flow generation.”