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Discovery Communications posted first quarter revenues of $951 million increased $82 million, or 9 per cent, over the first quarter a year ago, led by 8 per cent growth at U.S. Networks and 14 per cent growth at International Networks. Adjusted Operating Income grew 17 per cent to $427 million, driven by a 14 per cent increase at U.S. Networks and an 18 per cent increase at International Networks. First quarter net income from continuing operations of $305 million increased $136 million compared to $169 million for the first quarter a year ago.
David Zaslav, Discovery’s President and Chief Executive Officer said, “Discovery’s strong first quarter results reflect the operating momentum we are generating across our global portfolio in a continued favourable economic climate. Our consistent investment in content over the past four years, along with a drive to expand our subscriber base domestically and internationally, has enabled Discovery to grow our audiences across the globe. Once again this quarter, we recognised the value of our increased viewership through double digit advertising gains that further built upon the strength we demonstrated throughout 2010. Moving forward, with advertising revenues expanding and predictable distribution revenues continuing to grow, we remain focused on delivering sustained operating leverage and free cash flow growth, while also continuing to invest in Discovery’s diverse set of brands and platforms around the world.”
Free cash flow was $206 million for the first quarter, an increase of $92 million from the first quarter of 2010, due to increased operating performance and lower taxes and interest payments. Free cash flow is defined as cash provided by operating activities less acquisitions of property and equipment.