Although Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI) was able to reduce the drag on profits and revenues by struggling comparison shopping engine Shopzilla last fall, the segment has significantly turned around just in time for the unit’s sale to PE firm Symphony Technology Group for $165 million. The deal, announced last week, comes just a year after Scripps Networks sold its UK shopping site uSwitch.
Revenue in the Interactive segment, where Shopzilla is housed, was up 47 percent. Even still, those businesses were not the strongest parts of the company.
By ridding itself of largely under-performing shopping sites, Scripps Networks can best concentrate on managing its cable programming, which has proved to be a much stronger business. Like other cable programmers, Scripps Networks has benefited from the continuing ad recovery that’s been particularly robust on the cable TV side.
The company’s Lifestyle Media business segment, which includes HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel, saw revenues rise 11 percent on segment profit gains of 31 percent. Revenue from the Lifestyle Media segment’s digital businesses, which includes its network-branded websites, was $19.4 million, up 7.4 percent.