Meredith's CEO Presents At UBS 39th Annual Global Media And Communications Conference (Transcript)

Meredith Corporation (MDP)

UBS 39 th Annual Global Media and Communications Conference

December 6, 2011; 10:30 am ET


Steve Lacy - Chairman & CEO

Joe Ceryanec - Chief Financial Officer


Unidentified Participant

Welcome everyone to the Meredith Corporation presentation. Today we are happy to have with us Steve Lacy, Chairman and CEO; and Joe Ceryanec, Chief Financial Officer.

We are going to have a brief presentation and then have five minutes for questions thereafter. I’m going to hand it over to Steve to go through his presentation.

Steve Lacy

Well, good morning everyone and thank you for being with us this morning. It’s always great to have the opportunity to update you on our current business activities. Our presentation of course does include some forward-looking information and this is just a quick reminder of the various items that might impact our business going forward.

I thought I’d start for just a brief moment with this slide that summarizes our current business activities and we operate across a whole variety of media platforms. Our national media brands generated about $900 million in revenue during our fiscal 2011 and today reach $80 million unduplicated women offline and online. We are clearly the leading media company, serving women in the United States today.

The portfolio or brands that we have strategically assembled over time is unmatched with any of our competitive set. Our local media business on the other hand generated about $320 million in revenue in fiscal ‘11 and reaches about 10% of the US households.

Our marketing services activity is about $180 million in annual revenue in fiscal 2011 and we are a leading business to business marketer, offering clients from Kraft to Nestle to Chrysler and Lowe's expertise in digital, social mobile, along with database marketing.

Our ability to generate significant free cash flow is a hallmark of the Meredith Corporation. We are in a very strong financial position with little debt and certainly have the capability to fulfill our ongoing commitment to total shareholder return. As many of you may know, we recently raised our dividend by 50% and authorized an additional $100 million share buyback.

Over time, we have successfully extended our brands across a variety of media platform, giving our consumers the ability to access our content, as they prefer. We built scale across those platforms to attract advertisers and marketers alike, who want to reach our growing consumer audiences.

Consumer leadership and engagement related to our national media brands is quite strong, 112 million readers and over 25 million unique visitors to our website each and every month.

We are also seeing promising consumer metrics on our new tablet products and mobile apps. Viewership at our local media group is up as well. We are monetizing this growing audience by delivering eight straight quarters of growth in non-political advertising revenue in this part of our business. Additionally better, our daily syndicated television show now reaches 80% of US households and when we were hear a year ago, that was 50% of the country.

Finally we built a powerful presents for our brands at retail through our relationship with Wal-Mart, where today we have over 3,000 SKUs caring the Better Homes and Gardens brand at every Wal-Mart store in the US and in Canada. Our competitors are unable to offer this diverse channel, this mass reach or our deep consumer connection.

To drive revenue profit, and of course cash flow, we are aggressively pursuing these clearly defined strategic growth initiatives. We’ve had strong execution against each thus far in fiscal 2011. I’ll spend just a few moments on those accomplishments and then our Chief Financial Officer, Joe Ceryanec, will take you through the details of our recently announced new financial strategy.

We have a tremendous amount of confidence in the strength of our brands, our very robust business model and the sustainability of our future cash flows as we look to the future. The strength and consistency of that cash flow is really rooted in the brands that comprise our national and our local media groups.

Since advertising is of course a primary revenue driver, let me start with some key initiatives to improve advertising revenue as we look to the future. So far in fiscal 2012, we’ve successfully increased our reach and share of the food category across media platforms. We launched recently the multi-channel brand, we recently acquired Every Day with Rachael Ray, the magazine and its digital assets and the EatingWell media group.

Greater scale of course translates into more ad revenue and better margins as we look to the future. Over the last 10 years the food category has grown at about 4% on a compound annual growth rate, making it among the fastest growing ad categories in the industry.

We are also working to increase our scale in other high growth advertising categories, including beauty, retail and entertainment. We’ve used this strategy successfully over the past decade. We’ve more than doubled our share of total magazine industry advertising revenue, through not only organic execution, but acquisitions over that time period. And that’s stronger growth than any of our peers.

Our sales initiatives are really focused on two broad strategies, first magazine advertising to our large corporate accounts and second, integrated sales programs that feature our multi platform assets. These are sold by our Meredith 360 team and today account for about 20% of total sales. We also recently introduced an innovative and research based program called the Meredith Engagement Dividend.

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