Revenue Up As Discovery Prepares For IPO

By Frank Ahrens

Discovery Communications LLC
reported today that first-quarter revenue was up 12 percent, from $710 million to $795 million, on the strength of advertising and subscriber revenue at its television networks.

Discovery Holding Co., controlled by billionaire media mogul John Malone, owns two-thirds of Discovery Communications, home to popular cable television shows such as "MythBusters" and "Man vs. Wild." The remaining third of the television network is owned by Advance/Newhouse Communications and founder John S. Hendricks.

Discovery is in the process of becoming publicly traded. The company is soon expected to file its going-public documents at the SEC.

For the first quarter, Discovery Holding's operating cash flow increased 51 percent, from $190 million to $286 million.

At Discovery's U.S. cable channels, first-quarter revenue was up 3 percent, from $477 million to $491 million. Operating cash flow increased 18 percent, from $210 million to $247 million.

The company reports cash flow as its most meaningful performance metric because, like many privately held companies, consistent cash flow is required to pay down debt.

Discovery Communication's debt at the end of the first quarter was $4.1 billion, up from $2.9 billion in the same quarter of last year, largely due to a $1.5 billion loan required to buy out Cox Communications, a former 25-percent stakeholder in Discovery, the company said.

By Dan Beyers  |  May 8, 2008; 1:30 PM ET  | Category:  Media
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