Television

FY-2015: Forex retards Discovery Communications revenue, lowers adjusted OIBDA

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BENGALURU: Discovery Communications Inc. (Discovery) US Networks segment reported 6.1 per cent growth in revenue for the year ended 31 December, 2015 (FY-2015, current year) at $3,131 million as compared to $2,950 million in the previous year. These gains were offset by a 2.1 per cent decline in revenues in FY-2015 by its International Networks segment to $3,092 million as compared to $3,157 million in the previous year, primarily due to currency effects. Discovery reported revenue of $6,394 million in the current year as compared to $6,265 million in the previous year. 

Adjusted Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortisation (OIBDA) declined 3.7 per cent in FY-2015 to $2,398 million as compared to $2,491 million in the previous year. Net income available to Discovery in FY-2015 declined 9.2 per cent to $1,034 million ($1.58 per diluted share) compared to $1,139 million ($1.66 per diluted share) for FY-2014, primarily due to currency exchange rates, higher losses associated with the sale of businesses and lower equity earnings, partially offset by a decrease in taxes, restructuring costs and equity-based compensation.

Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav said, "In 2015, Discovery Communications continued to build momentum with our unmatched worldwide brands and leading multiplatform distribution network. We surpassed three billion cumulative viewers, launched more new networks and increased audience and market share, all of which helped to drive steady global growth and strong financial results. Propelled by our category leadership, broad rights ownership and content and brand expansion across platforms, Discovery is well positioned to thrive in the rapidly evolving media landscape and to drive continued shareholder value in the years ahead."

For the quarter ended 31 December, 2015 (Q4-2015, current quarter), the company reported 1.8 per cent decline in revenue to $1,646 million as compared to $1,676 in the corresponding prior year quarter also primarily due to currency effects says Discovery. While US Networks reported 5.6 per cent increased revenues for Q4-2015 at $787 million from $745 million, International Networks revenue declined 7.7 per cent to $816 million from $884 million in Q4-2014. Adjusted OIBDA declined 10 per cent to $574 million in Q4-2015 from $638 million in Q4-2014. US Networks adjusted OIBDA in the current quarter increased 1.2 per cent to $410 million from $405 million. International Networks adjusted OIBDA declined 20.2 per cent to $262 million from $329 million in the corresponding prior year quarter.

In Q4-2015, net income available to Discovery stockholders decreased to $219 million ($0.34 per diluted share) compared to $250 million ($0.38 per diluted share) for Q4-2014, primarily due to foreign currency exchange rates, losses associated with the sale of businesses and higher net income attributable to non-controlling interests, partially offset by a decrease in restructuring costs and higher earnings related to equity-method instruments says the company.

Advertising and Distribution numbers

Distribution revenues in FY-2015 increased eight per cent to $3,068 million from $2,842 in the previous year. Advertising revenues in FY-2015 declined 2.8 per cent to $3,004 million from $3,089 million in FY-2014. Discovery says that Distribution revenues, excluding the impact of Eurosport and currency effects, grew primarily due to increased rates and subscribers in Latin America as well as increased subscribers in CEEMEA. Advertising revenues, excluding the impact of Eurosport, SBS Radio and currency effects, were up primarily due to higher pricing and ratings in Southern Europe, higher pricing, volume and ratings in Latin America, and higher pricing in Northern Europe. 

Excluding the impact of Eurosport, SBS Radio and foreign currency exchange rates, Adjusted OIBDA was up reflecting the revenue growth partially offset by an 11 per cent increase in operating expenses. The higher operating expenses were primarily due to increased content expenses and personnel costs.

Distribution revenues in Q4-2015 increased 1.8 per cent to $759 million from $745 million in Q4-2014. Advertising revenues in the current quarter declined 3.2 per cent to $804 million from $831 million in the corresponding quarter of 2014.

Discovery says that Distribution revenues, excluding the impact of Eurosport and currency effects, grew mainly from increased rates and subscribers in Latin America. Advertising revenues, excluding the impact of Eurosport, SBS Radio and currency effects, were up, primarily due to higher pricing and ratings in Southern Europe, higher pricing and volume in Latin America, and higher pricing and volume in Asia.

Excluding the impact of Eurosport, SBS Radio and currency, Adjusted OIBDA was up one per cent, reflecting the revenue growth partially offset by an 18 per cent increase in operating expenses. The higher operating expenses were primarily due to increased content expenses and personnel costs.

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