Emmis Communications reported on Thursday morning that radio division net revenues for its first fiscal quarter ending May 31, 2018 were $26.4 million, sliding from $38.7 million year over year. The company’s total revenues were $28.0 million, including publishing and emerging technologies, down from 2017’s $40.1 million.
Ahead of its investor conference call at 9am Thursday, Emmis released figures for Q1, although the accompanying narrative in a press release was scant on details. Pro forma for all radio station sales, Emmis’ first quarter radio revenues—excluding barter revenues and syndication revenues—were down 4% in markets that were down an average of 6%, as reported to Miller Kaplan.
Looking back, in the company’s fiscal fourth-quarter that ended Feb. 28, 2018, Emmis’ radio net revenues also took a hit, as Inside Radio reported: $28.4 million, down from $34.0 million in the prior year, a decrease of 16%.
For Q1, station operating expenses, excluding depreciation and amortization expense, were $17.7 million, compared with $26.1 million for the quarter ending May 31, 2017. And the company’s operating income was $35.2 million for Q1, versus $5.2 million a year ago.
On April 30, it finalized the sale of its St. Louis radio stations and used net proceeds to repay credit facility debt, resulting in $20 million of net credit facility debt outstanding. Commented Jeff Smulyan, CEO & Chairman of the Board of Emmis, in the news release, “Emmis has made tremendous strides in paying down our debt and giving ourselves the financial flexibility to pursue new areas of growth. We see opportunities both inside and outside of traditional media as we look to transform the company in the coming months and years.”
Emmis owns 11 FM and 3 AM radio stations in New York, Indianapolis and Austin (the latter with a 50.1% controlling interest in Emmis’ six radio stations). It also developed and licenses TagStation and developed NextRadio.