Discovery Communications has reported financial results for the full year and fourth quarter ended December 31st 2014.
“The healthy performance of our core business coupled with increasing contributions from our recent strategic acquisitions led to another year of solid operational and financial results and increasing capital returns in 2014,” said David Zaslav, President and Chief Executive Officer of Discovery Communications. “Despite a more challenging US market and significant foreign currency headwinds, our content portfolio once again drove audience gains and boosted our market share around the world. As we move into 2015, we are confident that our long-term content investment strategy, strong global IP and brands, and local approach to markets will continue to drive our results and enable us to deliver additional value to shareholders.”
Full Year Results
Full year revenues of $6,265 million increased $730 million, or 13 per cent, compared to the full year a year ago, as International Networks was up 28 per cent and US Networks was flat, primarily due to additional revenues from licensing agreements in the prior year. Adjusted Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortisation (“OIBDA”) increased 4 per cent to $2,491 million, as International Networks was up 18 per cent while US Networks was down 2 per cent due to the impact of licensing agreements. Changes in foreign currency exchange rates reduced full year revenue growth by 2 per cent and Adjusted OIBDA growth by 3 per cent. Excluding foreign currency fluctuations, the impact of newly acquired businesses, licensing agreements and the consolidation of Discovery Family, total Company revenues increased 7 per cent and Adjusted OIBDA increased 6 per cent.
Discovery Communications, Inc.’s full year net income of $1,139 million ($1.66 per diluted share) increased $64 million, or 6 per cent, compared to $1,075 million ($1.49 per diluted share) for the full year 2013, primarily due to improved operating performance as well as lower mark-to-market equity-based compensation, lower losses on derivatives and lower taxes, partially offset by higher restructuring costs, gains associated with the consolidation of new businesses in 2013 and increased amortization associated with purchase price allocation. Adjusted Earnings Per Diluted Share (“Adjusted EPS”), which excludes the impact of amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets, was $1.84 for the full year, up 13 per cent compared with $1.63 for full year 2013.
Free cash flow was $1,198 million for the full year, up 2 per cent from the full year of 2013, primarily due to improved operating performance offset by higher content payments and higher tax payments. Free cash flow is defined as cash provided by operating activities less purchases of property and equipment.
Fourth Quarter Results
Fourth quarter revenues of $1,676 million increased $139 million, or 9 per cent, over the fourth quarter a year ago, led by 17 per cent growth at International Networks and 1 per cent growth at US Networks. Adjusted OIBDA decreased $25 million to $638 million, as 11 per cent growth at International Networks was offset by a 7 per cent decline at U.S. Networks. Changes in foreign currency exchange rates reduced fourth quarter revenue growth by 5 per cent and Adjusted OIBDA growth by 6 per cent. Excluding foreign currency fluctuations as well as the impact of the Eurosport transaction, licensing agreements and the consolidation of Discovery Family, total Company revenues increased 4 per cent and Adjusted OIBDA decreased 2 per cent.
Fourth quarter net income available to Discovery Communications, Inc. of $250 million ($0.38 per diluted share) decreased $39 million, or 13 per cent, compared to $289 million ($0.41 per diluted share) for the fourth quarter a year ago, primarily due to higher restructuring costs and lower equity earnings this quarter. Adjusted EPS was $0.43 in the fourth quarter of this year compared with $0.46 in the same period a year ago.
Free cash flow was $390 million for the fourth quarter, up 23 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2013, primarily due to improved operating performance and lower tax payments partially offset by higher content payments.