Discovery Communications Inc. [[DISCA]] reported fourth-quarter net income attributable to Discovery Communications Inc. of $155 million or $0.36 per share, compared to $106 million or $0.25 per share in the same quarter last year. The improved results are mainly down to a net tax gain on the sale of the Discovery Kids channel and an increase in other non-operating income.
“The strength of Discovery’s performance throughout 2009 reflected the quality of our distribution platform and content assets and our focus on delivering real operating leverage,” said David Zaslav, Discovery Communications’ president and CEO.
“The affiliate fees we generate across the globe provided consistent resiliency throughout this past year, while the ratings growth across our networks and the value of our unique content enabled advertising to grow despite the weak environment.
“As we look to 2010, we remain focused on further monetising our ratings momentum in an improving advertising environment, continuing to strengthen our distribution platforms and relationships and, most importantly, delivering high-quality content to our viewers.”
Advertising revenue up 33% and distribution revenue up 16% in its international segment. Domestic revenue rose 3%, to $554 million, while adjusted operating income at U.S. Networks saw a 4% decline, a result of a $22 million content impairment charge. The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), in particular, has created buzz for Discovery.