The $1.2 million, or 16.7%, year-over-year improvement in 2012 fourth quarter operating income reflects the quarterly revenue increase and more than offset a 6.2%, or $1.1 million, rise in total operating expenses, which included increased commissions and compensation related to higher revenue levels as well as increased promotional spending.
Fourth quarter 2012 station operating income (SOI), a non-GAAP financial measure, rose $1.3 million, or 14.3%, to $10.8 million compared with the 2011 fourth quarter, as the higher quarterly net revenue more than offset a 5.9%, or $0.9 million, increase in station operating expenses.
The higher operating income more than offset a $0.7 million, or 49.9%, increase in interest expense and a $0.2 million, or 10.1%, increase in income tax expense resulting in a 6.4% rise in net income to $3.6 million and a 6.7% rise in net income per diluted share to $0.16.
Please refer to the "Calculation of SOI," "Reconciliation of SOI to Net Income," "Calculation of Same-Station SOI," and "Reconciliation of Same-Station SOI to Net Income" tables at the end of this announcement for a discussion regarding SOI calculations.Commenting on the results, George G. Beasley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Beasley Broadcast Group ended 2012 strongly as fourth quarter net revenue rose 9.1% and same station net revenue increased 5.7%. Fourth quarter revenue growth reflects several factors including the cyclical return of political advertising particularly in our Las Vegas, Miami and Wilmington market clusters, continued strength in key advertising categories including automotive, a full quarter's contribution from KOAS-FM in Las Vegas which was acquired in the third quarter, and overall strength in the Company's Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Fort Myers and Augusta market clusters. "The solid fourth quarter revenue growth combined with the Company's focus on margins led to another period of SOI growth, as consolidated SOI increased 14.3% compared to last year's fourth quarter while same station SOI improved by 9.5%. Highlighting the operating efficiencies being realized on our higher revenue levels, fourth quarter SOI margins were 39.3%, up from 37.5% in the same quarter last year.