A number of global launches of HGTV and Food Network helped bolster Discovery Communications’ full-year and Q4 financial results.
The factual giant saw total revenues in the fourth quarter of 2019 grow by 2% to $2.87B, while total revenues across the year grew by 6% to $11.1B.
Net income in the last quarter increased to $476M and diluted EPS increased to $0.67 per share, while over the year net income increased to $2.1B and diluted EPS increased to $2.88 per share.
In Q4, U.S. advertising and distribution revenues increased 1% and 5% respectively; and international advertising and distribution revenues increased 5% and 10%, respectively.
The company pointed to more than 30 new country and territory launches for HGTV and Food Network that helped grow the reach of the Scripps Network. Other operational highlights included 2% growth in total share of viewing for its top 10 international markets, digital success in Europe with Dplay, TVN Player in Poland and Joyn in Germany, while TLC delivered its best year ever globally.
David Zaslav, President and Chief Executive Officer of Discovery said, “2019 was a year of promises made and promises delivered. We achieved more than $3 billion of free cash flow and brought leverage down to the low end of our target range of 3-3.5x net debt to Adjusted OIBDA. Our differentiated local content strategy and global scale, coupled with our unique free cash flow conversion profile, provide distinct financial flexibility that allows us to adapt to changing media consumption habits. Our Board’s confidence in our strategic direction is highlighted by the recent authorization to repurchase up to an additional $2 billion of our shares.”