Cost Savings Send Shaw Comm To Higher Q3 Profit

"Glee" (Fox)
Carin Baer/FOX

Chris Colfer

Restructuring savings and an improved TV ad market lift Canadian "Glee" broadcaster Shaw Communications to better-than-expected third quarter financial earnings.

TORONTO – Cost savings and an improved TV ad market helped Shaw Communications surprise the street Wednesday with sharply higher third quarter earnings.

The Calgary-based cable and broadcast giant saw earnings for the three months to May 31 climb 28 per cent to $203 million, from a profit of $158 million in 2010, on overall revenue rising 36 per cent to $1.28 billion, against a year-earlier $943.63.

Shaw Communications recently cut 550 jobs as part of a streamlining, including 150 positions at the management level, and also gained from a recovering ad market at Shaw Media, its conventional and cable TV business.

Shaw Media includes the Global Television network, which fills its primetime schedule with popular hits like Glee, the Survivor franchise and House.

The Canadian media group put annual costs savings from the restructuring at around $50 million.

“Pricing consistent with product value and timely initiatives undertaken during the quarter to drive efficiencies through focused cost containment and reductions have us on track to achieve our financial guidance, including consolidated fiscal 2011 free cash flow of approximately $600 million.” Brad Shaw, the newly-installed CEO at Shaw Communications, added in a statement that accompanied the latest financial results.

Cable revenue rose 5 per cent to $785 million during the latest frame, in large part on rate increases.

Satellite TV revenue was up 3 per cent to $210 million, and media, mostly broadcast, revenue was up 8 per cent to $312 million.