08 May 2009
CINCINNATI, May 8, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. (NYSE: SNI) today reported operating results for the first quarter 2009.

Results for the three-month period ended March 31 reflect strong affiliate fee revenue growth and effective cost controls at the company's lifestyle television networks, offset by lower advertising revenue and a challenging economic and competitive environment for the company's online comparison shopping services.

Consolidated revenue for the quarter decreased 7.0 percent year over year to $361 million, with the decline attributable primarily to less favorable operating results at the company's Shopzilla and uSwitch comparison shopping subsidiaries. During the first quarter the company disclosed that consolidated results for the period would be affected by a competitive repositioning at Shopzilla.

Total first-quarter expenses decreased 5.4 percent year over year.

Consolidated net income attributable to Scripps Networks Interactive for the first quarter was $60.1 million, or 37 cents per share compared with $66.5 million, or 41 cents in the first quarter 2008. Net income reported for the first quarter 2008 includes an estimate of corporate expenses based on amounts reported by the former parent company of Scripps Networks Interactive. Scripps Networks Interactive was spun off from The E. W. Scripps Company on July 1, 2008. Corporate expenses for the current period include about $3.7 million in one-time costs related to the spin-off.

Total segment profit for the company during the three-month period was $139 million compared with $154 million in the prior-year period. (See Note 1 for a definition of segment profit). During the first quarter 2009 the company generated $163 million in cash from operating activities and $91.9 million in free cash flow.

From the company's Lifestyle Media business segment, which includes HGTV and Food Network, total revenue for the period was $311 million, which was even with the prior-year quarter. Affiliate fee revenue increased 17 percent year over year on improved rates for HGTV and expanding distribution of all of the company's television networks. Other television brands operated by the company include DIY Network, Fine Living Network (FLN) and Great American Country (GAC). For the full year, the company now expects affiliate fee revenue to increase 12 to 14 percent.

Advertising revenue from the Lifestyle Media segment decreased 4.6 percent in the first quarter, reflecting weaker pricing in the scatter advertising marketplace relative to strong growth in the prior year. The company expects advertising revenue to continue to be under pressure at least through the first half due to the ongoing effects of the current economic recession.

The company reduced segment expenses even as it continued to invest in new, original programming during the period to build viewership and increase audience market share at all of its networks. Total Lifestyle Media expenses for the quarter declined 1.7 percent as a result of a general hiring freeze initiated during the fourth quarter 2008; reduced spending on marketing and promotions during the first quarter of 2009; and other expense controls initiated by the company.

Lifestyle Media segment profit increased 1.9 percent during the first quarter to $146 million compared with $143 million during the prior year.

Revenue from the company's Interactive Services business segment, which includes Shopzilla and uSwitch, was $50.6 million during the first quarter compared with $77.5 million during the same period in 2008.

In addition to the competitive repositioning at Shopzilla, Interactive Services results were held back by lower consumer demand for retail products; an unfavorable foreign exchange environment; and the effects of a less-favorable sponsored-link revenue-sharing agreement with Google. Reduced energy rates in the United Kingdom during the quarter also led to lower energy-switching activity at uSwitch.

Interactive Services expenses declined 23 percent during the first quarter as the company continued to scale the businesses to match market conditions.

Interactive Services segment profit was $7.0 million in the first quarter compared with $21.0 million during the same period a year earlier. The company expects Interactive Services segment profit to be about $35 million for the full year.

"The company's operating performance during the first quarter demonstrates the durability and recession-resistant nature of cable and satellite television networks and, in particular, the strength and popularity of our unique lifestyle brands," said Kenneth W. Lowe, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Scripps Networks Interactive. "In the midst of the most challenging economic environment in a generation, our leading lifestyle networks are performing solidly, with growing audiences, expanding distribution and financial results that defy some daunting headwinds.

"At our Interactive Services businesses, we're making progress repositioning Shopzilla as a consumer-centric service that also provides great value for online merchants," Lowe said. "We're focusing on consumer satisfaction, enhancing the comprehensiveness of search results and providing a measurable return on investment for retailers who pay us for leads. Our deliberate decision to put Shopzilla on a firmer competitive footing, however, means we'll be sacrificing margin in the near term in exchange for longer-term sustainability of the business.

"Looking ahead, we're optimistic, but cautious about the future," Lowe said. "We expect macro-economic issues to continue weighing on all of our businesses, but are encouraged by early signs of improvement. In the meantime, we're going to be investing in the health and vitality of our core brands, advancing our various growth strategies and keeping a tight rein on expenses. We're confident that when the economy recovers, our Lifestyle Media brands will be stronger than ever and that our Interactive Services businesses will be competitively viable and poised for growth."

Here are first-quarter results by operating segment:

Lifestyle Media

Lifestyle Media affiliate fee revenue grew 17 percent to $79.1 million. Advertising revenue was $225 million, down 4.6 percent.

Total expenses were down 1.7 percent. Programming expenses increased 9.5 percent to $71.2 million. Non-programming costs decreased 8.8 percent to $93.4 million.

Lifestyle Media segment profit was $146 million compared with $143 million in the prior-year period.

Operating revenue at HGTV was $144 million, up 1.7 percent. HGTV now reaches 98 million subscribers compared with about 96 million at the end of the first quarter 2008.

Food Network operating revenue was $116 million, down 2.5 percent. Food Network reaches 98 million subscribers, up from about 96 million at the end of the first quarter 2008.

Revenue at DIY Network was up 8.1 percent to $15.3 million. DIY can be seen in about 51 million households, up from about 47 million households a year ago.

Fine Living Network (FLN) revenue was $11.7 million, down 6.7 percent. Fine Living reaches 55 million households vs. 50 million households last year.

Revenue at Great American Country (GAC) increased 6.1 percent to $6.1 million. Great American Country can be seen in about 56 million homes compared with about 53 million homes a year ago.

Revenue from the Lifestyle Media segment's interactive businesses (SN-Digital) was $15.7 million, down 6.2 percent.

Interactive Services

Interactive Services revenue was $50.6 million compared with $77.5 million.

Interactive Services expenses decreased 23 percent to 43.5 million.

Segment profit was $7.0 million compared with $21.0 million.

Conference call

The senior management team of Scripps Networks Interactive will discuss the company's first quarter results during a telephone conference call at 10 a.m. EDT today. Scripps Networks Interactive will offer a live webcast of the conference call. To access the webcast, visit www.scrippsnetworksinteractive.comand follow the Investor Relations link at the top of the page. The webcast link can be found next to the microphone icon.

To access the conference call by telephone, dial 1-800-230-1092 (U.S.) or 612-288-0340 (international) approximately ten minutes before the start of the call. Callers will need the name of the call, "first quarter earnings report," to be granted access. Callers also will be asked to provide their name and company affiliation. The media and general public are granted access to the conference call on a listen-only basis.

A replay line will be open from 12 p.m. EDT May 8 until 11:59 p.m. EDT May 15. The domestic number to access the replay is 1-800-475-6701 and the international number is 1-320-365-3844. The access code for both numbers is 996741. A replay of the conference call will also be available online. To access the audio replay, visit www.scrippsnetworksinteractive.com approximately four hours after the call, choose Investor Relations, then follow the Audio Archives link on the left side of the page.

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements related to the company's businesses that are based on management's current expectations. Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties, including changes in advertising demand and other economic conditions that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations expressed in forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements should be evaluated with the understanding of their inherent uncertainty. The company's written policy on forward-looking statements can be found on page F-3 of its 2008 Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date the statement is made.

About Scripps Networks Interactive

Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. is the leading developer of lifestyle-oriented content for television and the Internet, where on-air programming is complemented with online video, social media areas and e-commerce components on companion Web sites and broadband vertical channels. The company's media portfolio includes: Lifestyle Media, with popular lifestyle television and Internet brands HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Fine Living Network (FLN) and country music network Great American Country (GAC); and Interactive Services, with leading online search and comparison shopping services BizRate, Shopzilla and uSwitch.

                                       Contact:             Mark Kroeger, Scripps Networks Interactive Inc., 513-824-3227                      E-mail: mark.kroeger@scrippsnetworks.com
    SCRIPPS NETWORKS INTERACTIVE, INC.    CONSOLIDATED AND COMBINED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS    (unaudited)                                               Three months ended                                                    March 31,    (in thousands, except per share data)       2009        2008      Change    Operating revenues                      $361,217    $388,332      (7.0)%    Costs and expenses                     (221,942)   (234,678)      (5.4)%    Depreciation and amortization of     intangible assets                      (19,942)    (17,710)      12.6 %    Losses on disposal of PP&E                  (71)       (764)     (90.7)%    Operating income                         119,262     135,180     (11.8)%    Interest expense                           (330)     (5,821)     (94.3)%    Equity in earnings of     affiliates                               2,093       3,676      (43.1)%    Miscellaneous, net                         (713)     (1,143)     (37.6)%    Income from operations before     income taxes                            120,312     131,892      (8.8)%    Provision for income taxes              (40,413)    (43,120)      (6.3)%    Net income                               79,899      88,772      (10.0)%    Less: net income attributable to     noncontrolling interests               (19,771)    (22,267)     (11.2)%    Net income attributable to SNI     common shareholders                     $60,128     $66,505      (9.6)%    Net income attributable to SNI     common shareholders per diluted     share of common stock                     $0.37       $0.41    Weighted average basic shares     outstanding (1)                         163,516     163,466    Weighted average diluted shares     outstanding (1)                         163,907     163,466    For comparison purposes, first quarter 2008 results include estimates of    Scripps Networks Interactive's portion of The E. W. Scripps Company's    corporate expenses for those periods.  Such estimates are not    representative of our costs as a stand-alone company.    (1) For the quarter periods of 2008, diluted EPS was computed using the    number of common shares outstanding on the spin-off-date.    Net income per share amounts may not foot since each is calculated    independently.    See notes to results of operations.
    SCRIPPS NETWORKS INTERACTIVE, INC.    CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS    (unaudited)                                          As of                                                 March 31,  December 31,    (in thousands, except per share data)           2009       2008    ASSETS    Current assets:         Cash and cash equivalents                 $8,641      $9,970         Short-term investments                     3,587       2,703         Accounts and notes receivable (less          allowances: 2009- $4,842;          2008- $5,480)                           330,747     372,736         Programs and program licenses            241,899     238,319         Other current assets                      15,067      14,296    Total current assets                          599,941     638,024    Investments                                    39,966      40,279    Property, plant and equipment, net            205,104     201,512    Goodwill                                      424,213     424,213    Other intangible assets, net                  105,032     110,810    Programs and program licenses (less     current portion)                             224,542     235,967    Unamortized network distribution     incentives                                    98,544     107,796    Other non-current assets                       17,586      14,607    Total Assets                               $1,714,928  $1,773,208    LIABILITIES AND EQUITY    Current liabilities:         Accounts payable                         $17,648     $14,960         Program rights payable                    14,706      15,240         Customer deposits and unearned          revenue                                  11,818      11,045         Employee compensation and benefits          liabilities                              19,014      35,451         Accrued marketing and advertising          costs                                    13,919      18,671         Other accrued liabilities                 90,998      70,927    Total current liabilities                     168,103     166,294    Deferred income taxes                         129,381     134,261    Long-term debt                                             80,000    Other liabilities (less current     portion)                                     109,590     104,239    Total liabilities                             407,074     484,794    Redeemable noncontrolling interest              9,400       9,400    Equity:       SNI shareholders' equity:       Preferred stock, $.01 par - authorized:        25,000,000 shares; none outstanding       Common stock, $.01 par:            Class A - authorized:  240,000,000             shares; issued and             outstanding: 2009 - 127,485,838 shares;             2008 - 127,184,107 shares              1,275       1,272            Voting - authorized:  60,000,000              shares; issued and              outstanding: 2009 - 36,398,226 shares;              2008 - 36,568,226 shares                364         366        Total                                       1,639       1,638        Additional paid-in capital              1,225,082   1,219,930        Retained earnings (deficit)               (72,942)   (120,774)        Accumulated other comprehensive         income                                    30,642      31,487      Total SNI shareholders' equity            1,184,421   1,132,281      Noncontrolling interests                    114,033     146,733    Total equity                                1,298,454   1,279,014    Total Liabilities and Equity               $1,714,928  $1,773,208
    SCRIPPS NETWORKS INTERACTIVE, INC.    CONSOLIDATED AND COMBINED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS    (unaudited)                                                                March 31,    (in thousands)                                           2009      2008    Cash Flows from Operating Activities:    Net income                                            $79,899   $88,772       Depreciation and intangible assets amortization     19,942    17,710       Programs and program licenses costs                 71,179    62,600       Program payments                                   (63,868)  (74,053)       Amortization of network distribution costs           9,342     8,257       Capitalized network distribution incentives         (1,764)   (1,678)       Equity in earnings of affiliates                    (2,093)   (3,676)       Dividends received from equity investments           3,263     1,668       Stock and deferred compensation plans                4,807     4,744       Deferred income taxes                                5,190    10,847       Prepaid and accrued pension expense                  2,229     2,156       Changes in certain working capital accounts            Accounts receivable                            41,861   (10,192)            Other assets                                     (781)   (3,384)            Accounts payable                                2,736     6,075            Accrued employee compensation and benefits    (16,038)  (16,382)            Accrued income taxes                           31,548    (6,250)            Other liabilities                             (26,864)   (1,345)       Other, net                                           1,951     6,773    Net operating activities                              162,539    92,642    Cash Flows from Investing Activities:    Acquisitions of property, plant and equipment         (17,929)  (11,865)    Increase in short-term investments                       (942)    Purchase of subsidiary companies, noncontrolling     Interest, and long-term investments                      (85)    Other, net                                                (9)     (102)    Net investing activities                              (18,947)  (11,967)    Cash Flows from Financing Activities:    Increase in long-term debt                                        8,941    Payments on long-term debt                            (80,000)  (40,000)    Dividends paid                                        (12,296)    Dividends paid to noncontrolling interest             (52,724)  (56,183)    Change in parent company investment, net                         40,897    Proceeds from employee stock options                    2,695    Other, net                                             (2,132)   (2,855)    Net financing activities                             (144,457)  (49,200)    Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash     equivalents                                             (464)      166    Increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents       (1,329)   31,641    Cash and cash equivalents:    Beginning of year                                       9,970    12,532    End of year                                            $8,641   $44,173    Supplemental Cash Flow Disclosures:      Interest paid, excluding amounts capitalized           $234    $5,640      Income taxes paid                                       397    43,105

Notes to Results of Operations

1. SEGMENT INFORMATION

We determine our business segments based upon our management and internal reporting structure. Our reportable segments are strategic businesses that offer different products and services.

Lifestyle Media includes five national television networks, Internet businesses and other electronic content services primarily in the United States. Our networks also operate domestically and internationally through licensing agreements and joint ventures with other entities. We own approximately 69% of Food Network and approximately 94% of Fine Living ("FLN").

Interactive Services includes our online comparison shopping services, Shopzilla, BizRate and uSwitch. Shopzilla and BizRate are product comparison shopping services that help consumers find products offered for sale on the Web by online retailers. Shopzilla and BizRate also operate a Web-based consumer feedback network which collects millions of consumer reviews of stores and products each year. uSwitch operates an online service that helps consumers compare prices and arrange for the purchase of a range of essential home services including gas, electricity, home phone, broadband providers and personal finance products, primarily in the United Kingdom.

Our chief operating decision maker (as defined by FAS No. 131, "Segment Reporting") evaluates the operating performance of our business segments using a measure we call segment profit. Segment profit excludes interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, divested operating units, restructuring activities, investment results and certain other items that are included in net income determined in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Refer to Note 3--Non-GAAP Financial Measures, for reconciliations to GAAP measures.

Items excluded from segment profit generally result from decisions made in prior periods or from decisions made by corporate executives rather than the managers of the business segments. Depreciation and amortization charges are the result of decisions made in prior periods regarding the allocation of resources and are therefore excluded from the measure. Financing, tax structure and divestiture decisions are generally made by corporate executives. Excluding these items from our business segment performance measure enables us to evaluate business segment operating performance for the current period based upon current economic conditions and decisions made by the managers of those business segments in the current period.

Information regarding the operating performance of our business segments determined in accordance with FAS 131 and reconciliation to our results of operations is as follows:

    (in thousands)                           Three months ended                                                  March 31,                                               2009      2008   Change    Segment operating revenues:         Lifestyle Media                   $310,685  $310,836         Interactive Services                50,573    77,496    (34.7)%         Intersegment eliminations              (41)    Total operating revenues               $361,217  $388,332     (7.0)%    Segment profit (loss):         Lifestyle Media                   $146,076  $143,372      1.9 %         Interactive Services                 7,033    20,985    (66.5)%         Corporate                          (13,834)  (10,703)    29.3 %    Total segment profit                    139,275   153,654     (9.4)%    Depreciation and amortization of     intangible assets                    (19,942)  (17,710)    12.6 %    Losses on disposal of PP&E                  (71)     (764)   (90.7)%    Interest expense                           (330)   (5,821)   (94.3)%    Equity in earnings of     affiliates                               2,093     3,676    (43.1)%    Miscellaneous, net                         (713)   (1,143)   (37.6)%      Income from operations before income       taxes                               $120,312  $131,892     (8.8)%

Corporate costs for the first three months of 2008 reflect an estimate of SNI's portion of The E. W. Scripps Company's corporate expenses. Corporate expenses for the current period include about $3.7 million in one-time costs related to the spin-off.

2. SUPPLEMENTAL FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Our Lifestyle Media division earns revenue primarily from the sale of advertising time in our national television networks' programming, affiliate fees paid by cable and satellite television operators that carry our network programming, the licensing of its content to third parties, the licensing of its brands for consumer products such as books and kitchenware, and from the sale of advertising on our Lifestyle Media affiliated Web sites (SN Digital).

Supplemental information for Lifestyle Media is as follows:

    (in thousands)                       Three months                                             ended                                           March 31,                                        2009      2008 Change    Operating revenues by brand:    HGTV                            $143,863  $141,499    1.7 %    Food Network                     116,256   119,264   (2.5)%    DIY                               15,328    14,180    8.1 %    FLN                               11,711    12,547   (6.7)%    GAC                                6,083     5,735    6.1 %    SN Digital                        15,661    16,695   (6.2)%    Other/intersegment eliminations    1,783       916   94.6 %    Operating revenues by type:    Advertising                     $224,575  $235,493   (4.6)%    Affiliate fees, net               79,075    67,430   17.3 %    Other                              7,035     7,913  (11.1)%    Subscribers (1):    HGTV                              98,000    95,800    2.3 %    Food Network                      98,300    95,500    2.9 %    DIY                               50,700    47,100    7.6 %    FLN                               55,300    49,700   11.3 %    GAC                               56,000    52,700    6.3 %    (1) Subscriber counts are according to the Nielsen Homevideo Index of        homes that receive cable networks, with the exception of FLN in 2008,        which was not yet rated by Nielsen and represented comparable amounts        calculated by us.

3. NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES

In addition to the results prepared in accordance with GAAP provided in this release, the Company has presented segment profit and free cash flow. A reconciliation of segment profit to operating income determined in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America for each business segment is as follows:

    (in thousands)                  Three months ended                                         March 31,                                     2009        2008    Operating income             $119,262    $135,180    Depreciation and     amortization     of intangible assets:            Lifestyle Media         8,569       6,791            Interactive Services   11,255      10,884            Corporate                 118          35    Losses on disposal of     PP&E:            Lifestyle Media            55         764            Interactive Services       16    Total segment profit         $139,275    $153,654

The Company defines free cash flow as cash provided by operating activities less dividends paid to noncontrolling interests and acquisitions of property, plant and equipment. The Company measures free cash flow as it believes it is an important indicator for management and investors as to the Company's liquidity, including its ability to reduce debt, make strategic investments and return capital to shareholders. A reconciliation of free cash flow is as follows:

    (in thousands)                            Three months                                                  ended                                                 March 31,                                              2009      2008    Segment profit                        $139,275  $153,654    Income taxes paid                         (397)  (43,105)    Interest paid                             (234)   (5,640)    Working capital and other               23,895   (12,267)    Cash provided by operating     activities                            162,539    92,642    Dividends paid to     noncontrolling interest               (52,724)  (56,183)    Acquisitions of property, plant and     equipment                             (17,929)  (11,865)    Free cash flow                         $91,886   $24,594

Since segment profit and free cash flow are non-GAAP measures, they should be considered in addition to, but not as a substitute for, operating income, net income, cash flow provided by operating activities and other measures of financial performance reported in accordance with GAAP.

SOURCE Scripps Networks Interactive Inc.

<< Back