Scripps Networks Earnings Beat Estimates, HGTV Has Second-Best Quarter Ever

HGTV show 'Property Brothers'

DIY Network, Cooking Channel and Great American Country all had near-record ratings.

Lifestyle channels operator Scripps Networks Interactive on Tuesday reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings as its revenue rose, but expenses declined.

The company, led by CEO Kenneth Lowe, posted earnings of $193.7 million, compared with $153.8 million in the year-ago period. That exceeded Wall Street estimates.

The company, which operates such cable networks as HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel, said its quarterly revenue rose 3.4 percent to $732.1 million driven by an affiliate fee increase of 8.5 percent and a 1.4 percent lifestyle media advertising improvement.

HGTV has seen 13 consecutive months of ratings growth and "scored the second-best quarter in the network's 20-year history," Scripps said. "Both HGTV and Food Network finished in the top 10 among all ad-supported cable networks in the key adult and women 25-54 demos," the company said. "DIY Network, Cooking Channel and Great American Country all reached near-record high ratings."

After the end of the second quarter, Scripps also closed on its acquisition of a 52.7 percent stake in Polish network operator TVN and made a public tender offer to purchase the remaining outstanding shares. Scripps also continued its international growth with new network launches in Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

The company's cost of services and selling, general and administrative expenses for the latest quarter dropped 3.9 percent to $373.6 million "driven by a reduction in ongoing employee costs as a result of the restructuring program executed in the fourth quarter."

Said Lowe: "These results validate the continued strength of our brands, fortified by the close relationships we’ve forged with millions of engaged, upscale consumers and the advertisers and distributors that want to reach them."

He added: "We’re confident we can extend that influence as we continue to grow internationally, reach new audiences who seek out our valued content on a variety of delivery platforms, and build long-term shareholder value."

Twitter: @georgszalai