AMC Networks boosts first-quarter profit as revenue climbs slightly

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"The Walking Dead" Image: AMC

AMC Networks brought in a higher profit during the first quarter as its revenues rose slightly.

First quarter net income reached $136 million, up from $113 million in the year-ago quarter.  AMC attributed the net income increase primarily to the $48 million in refinancing debt charges incurred in first quarter of 2016.

Net revenues increased 1.9% to $720 million thanks to 2.8% growth at National Networks. However, operating income fell 10.5% to $232 million, due to a 6.4% decrease at National Networks and a widened loss at International and Other. 

"AMC Networks is off to a solid start in 2017 with revenue growth and significant free cash flow generation in the first quarter that sets the stage for continued progress for the remainder of the year," said AMC CEO Josh Sapan in a statement. "Our disciplined approach to investing in high-quality content is building our brands and positioning us well with advertisers and both traditional and new distribution platforms. Looking ahead, we remain focused on costs coupled with smart content investments that will create value for our shareholders over the near and long-term.”

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National Networks—which houses AMC, WE tv, BBC America, IFC and SundanceTV, as well as AMC Studios—saw its revenue rise 2.8% to $615 million, but its operating income fell 6.4% to $250 million. The growth in revenue was highlighted by a 9.8% increase in distribution revenues thanks to an increase in licensing revenues as well as an increase in affiliate fees. Meanwhile, advertising revenues fell 6.2% to $248 million due to lower delivery and the timing of the original programming.