NAPLES — Beasley Broadcast Group blamed a political off year for a dip in revenues and profits in the fourth quarter.
The Naples-based operator of 44 radio stations says fourth-quarter net revenue declined 0.5% to $27.3 million compared with the same quarter in 2012. Net income fell a fraction of a percent to $3.58 million in the same period.
“Beasley Broadcast Group's fourth quarter net revenue decline primarily reflects a reduction in political spending as in the fourth quarter of 2012 we recorded approximately $1.2 million in political-advertising revenue,” says George Beasley, chairman and CEO, in a statement. “While we were not able to fully offset the cyclical impact of political revenue, the fourth quarter radio advertising environment in our markets remains healthy and on an actual basis we reported just a slight decline in net revenue compared with last year.”
Excluding political advertising in 2012, Beasley Broadcast's fourth quarter same-station net revenue rose approximately 2% and full-year net revenue rose 4.7% while same-station net revenue for 2013 was up 1.9% compared with 2012.
“In addition to our focus on core programming and expanding our on-air and digital advertising platforms, we continue to strengthen our balance sheet,” Beasley says in the statement. “Reflecting strong operating cash flow, we made repayments totaling $3.4 million against the credit facility during the fourth quarter, reducing borrowings to $106.9 million at Dec. 31, 2013, from $116.8 million at the end of 2012. Our debt and leverage reduction initiatives over the last few years are benefiting our bottom line, as fourth-quarter interest expense declined year-over-year by over 34%, or approximately $700,000, while our leverage ratio is at its lowest level in over 10 years.”
Beasley Broadcast owns and operates 44 radio stations in 11 large and mid-sized markets. The company's shares are publicly traded (symbol: BBGI; recent price: $9).