NAPLES — Beasley Broadcast Group says bad weather in the Northeast contributed to a drop in sales in the first quarter compared with the same quarter in 2013.
Beasley, which operates 44 radio stations in 11 markets, says revenues dropped 2.4% to $24.2 million in the first quarter ending March 31 compared with the same quarter one year ago. Meanwhile, higher expenses including a jump in income tax pushed net income down 72% to $700,000 in the same period.
“In Philadelphia, our cluster underperformed the market for the first time since mid-2012 as business was significantly impacted by the severe winter weather that pressured billings, particularly among our local customers, and caused our stations to close for the equivalent of approximately three business weeks during the first quarter,” says George Beasley, chairman and CEO, in a statement.
While income tax expense rose, the company says interest expense fell 40% in the first quarter compared with the same quarter in 2013 as Beasley continued to reduce its debt. “We intend to continue our use of cash from operations to further reduce debt, pay quarterly cash dividends and to pursue other opportunities to enhance shareholder value,” Beasley says in a statement.
The shares of Beasley trade publicly on the Nasdaq market (symbol: BBGI; recent price: $7.85).