TV Shoppers Boost Liberty Media Profits

11 May 2005

Liberty Media, controlled by US cable TV pioneer John Malone, has posted a first-quarter profit of $254 million (€197.83m; £134.84m).

The figures, boosted by increased sales at the group's QVC shopping channel and the Discovery cable network, are in contrast to a year-earlier Q1 loss of $10m.

QVC sales for Q1 were up 14% to $1.46 billion, contributing to overall Liberty revenue of $2 billion, from $1.75bn in the same quarter last year.

Revenue from the company's Starz Entertainment Group climbed to $254m, but operating income fell to $36 million from $53 million.

Discovery Communications, of which Liberty owns 50%, posted revenue of $601 million, up from $527 million.

Looking ahead, the company says it has it raised its full-year outlook for QVC. It now expects revenue to rise by low double digit percentages, operating cash flow and operating income by mid-teens percentages.

Discovery's full-year revenue is expected to rise by mid-teens percentages, operating cash flow by low double-digits percentages and operating income by about 10%.

Colorado-headquartered Liberty also plans to complete a spin-off of its interest in Discovery and Ascent Media in the second quarter as part of Malone's plan to simplify the holding company's structure and appeal to more investors.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff