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Meredith's CEO Discusses F4Q12 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Steve Lacy

Thank you very much, Mike, and good morning, everyone. I hope you’ve seen our news release issued earlier today that detailed our fiscal 2012 fourth quarter and full year results. I’ll start this morning with a review of the business highlights and strategic accomplishments we’ve delivered in both the fourth quarter and the full fiscal year. Then Joe Ceryanec will discuss progress on our total shareholder return strategy and our outlook for the first quarter and fiscal 2013 and then we’ll be happy to answer any questions that you might have.

Looking briefly at our business highlights in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, total company revenues increased 6% and earnings per share grew by 2%. Local Media Group revenues increased 9%. Nonpolitical advertising revenues rose by 6% and EBITDA margin grew to 40% in the quarter.

National Media Group revenues increased by 5% as our recent acquisitions boosted both advertising and circulation revenue. Digital advertising revenues nearly doubled to a record high. Total digital related revenues accounted for about 10% of our total company revenues in the quarter. And finally, our connection to the individual consumer continued to strengthen. Meredith television stations delivered strong ratings during the May sweets period. In addition, our magazine readership and unique visitors to our websites both reached record highs.

Now stepping back to take a look at full fiscal 2012, during the year we executed a series of very well defined strategic initiatives designed to generate growth in revenue, operating profit and free cash flow and increase shareholder value over time. We kept tight control on our expenses which declined 3% excluding the recent acquisitions. We also faced challenged including magazine advertising and performance at Meredith Xcelerated Marketing. I’ll cover those in the operating group discussions in just a few moments.

Our fiscal 2012 key strategic initiatives included implementation of our total shareholder return strategy and this initiative has helped drive a significant increase in shareholder values since its launch last fall, the acquisition of, the world’s largest digital food brand.

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