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Discovery impacted by Scripps integration costs

Discovery’s profit was down year-on-year in Q2 as improved operating results were impacted by higher restructuring costs and charges associated with the integration of Scripps.

David Zaslav

Announcing its second quarter results, Discovery reported net income of US$216 million, compared to US$374 million for the same period last year. However, revenues were up 63% year-on-year on a reported basis to US$2.85 billion.

The company said that excluding the Scripps Networks, Motor Trend Group and Oprah Winfrey Network transactions, and the impact of foreign currency fluctuations, revenues remained consistent with a 5% increase in International Networks offset by a 1% decrease in US Networks and the sale of the majority stake in its education business in April.

Speaking on the company’s earnings call, Discovery president and CEO, David Zaslav described the results as “solid” and said the company is making “great progress with our integration of Scripps Networks Interactive and our pivot to digital, mobile and direct to consumer products and services.”

“It is still very early day as the new Discovery, but we feel great about where we are and what we’ve accomplished so far, and even better about the opportunities ahead of us.”

The news comes as Discovery this week appointed the vice president for Amazon Marketplace, Peter Faricy, as its first CEO of global direct-to-consumer – overseeing Discovery’s GO TV Everywhere products, Motor Trend, Eurosport Player, Discovery Kids, Dplay and its forthcoming PGA Tour-branded OTT golf service.

Discovery completed its US$14.6 billion takeover of US cable rival Scripps Networks Interactive in March of this year, with the company looking to use its new scale to tap into over-the-top opportunities.

In December last year it also increased its ownership stake in its OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network joint venture to more than 70%, paying US$70 million to acquire an additional 24.5% stake from Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Inc.

Meanwhile, in April 2018, Discovery rebranded its auto-related consolidated joint venture, previously called The Enthusiast Network, to Motor Trend Group.