Beasley Revenues, Net Income Rise In First Quarter
April 27, 2012 at 4:25 AM (PT)
BEASLEY BROADCAST GROUP first-quarter net revenue rose 1.1% to $23.3 million, attributed to a revenue increase at the company's FAYETTEVILLE, NC cluster. Net income jumped 55.4% to $2.4 million (11 cents/diluted share), including a $1 million reduction in interest expense from lower outstanding credit facility balances and the expiration of swap agreements at the end of the first and third quarters of 2011, offsetting a $500,000 increase in income tax expense.
Chairman/CEO GEORGE BEASLEY said, "First quarter revenue growth reflects improved economic conditions in some of our markets, most notably FAYETTEVILLE where our market cluster revenue rose 8.3%. In markets measured by MILLER KAPLAN, BEASLEY BROADCAST GROUP clusters generated a slight revenue gain while these markets recorded a slight decline in revenue. Overall, we achieved revenue increases at six of our 11 market clusters as we saw improved local and digital advertising which offset the impact of a mid-single digit decline in national advertising. Reflecting the Company's streamlined operating and cost structure, first quarter SOI margins remain healthy and rose slightly to 33.4% up from 33.1% in the first quarter last year.
"In addition to the organization's focus on its core programming and expanding our on-air and digital advertising platforms, we continue to strengthen our balance sheet. Reflecting solid cash flows from operations, during the first quarter, we made repayments totaling $3.4 million against the credit facility, reducing total bank debt to $123.4 million at March 31, 2012 from $138.8 million at the end of last year's first quarter. Our debt and leverage reduction initiatives over the last few years are delivering strong benefits to our income statement as first quarter interest expense declined by over 43% or more than $1 million compared with the same period last year while our leverage ratio is now at its lowest level in almost six years. We currently intend to continue using cash from operations to further lower debt as well as other initiatives that can enhance shareholder value.
"Looking forward, we remain focused on our station clusters matching or exceeding their market's revenue performance, and further strengthening our balance sheet. We have strong station clusters and ratings in key markets and we are highly focused on generating profitable station and digital revenue growth. We believe our dual focus on our core content and new media opportunities positions BEASLEY BROADCAST GROUP to deliver compelling entertainment to radio users and a high value media buy for advertisers. We also expect a more pronounced return of political spending in the third and fourth quarters of 2012 as several of our markets should benefit from contested elections."