Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This morning, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia posted revenues of $284.3 million for the full year 2008, which were down from $327.9 million in 2007. Fourth quarter losses for 2008 amounted to $8 million, or 15 cents a share, compared to net income of $33 million, or 63 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2007.

The biggest loss was in its merchandising division, which saw revenues decline by $35 million compared to 2007 because of the loss of contractual minimum royalties from Kmart. Minor losses were also felt in the company's publishing, internet and broadcasting businesses, mostly due to lower ad revenues, the company reports.

It wasn't all gloom and doom, though. The company posted some of the 2008 highlights for its various divisions:

Publishing Highlights:

-Ad rates witnessed ongoing strength in the quarter.
-Readership and subscriptions to Martha Stewart Living magazine remained consistently strong.
-The quarter benefited from successful omnimedia marketing programs, including "My M&M's," which featured advertisements and content across all of the Company's media platforms.
-Martha Stewart's Cooking School, the latest in the company's 12-book publishing deal with Clarkson Potter, arrived in bookstores and quickly became a bestseller.

Internet Highlights:

-Digital ad revenue for the quarter grew 11% year-over-year.
-Page views increased 43% over the prior year's quarter.
-The digital weddings franchise registered strong gains in traffic; page views grew by 93% while unique users increased 24% in the quarter year over year, driven in part by the introduction of tools powered by WeddingWire, which the company invested in last year.

Broadcasting Highlights:

-NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution announced that The Martha Stewart Show was renewed for a fifth season in national syndication.
-Discovery's Planet Green network has renewed Emeril Green for a second season, which will begin in April 2009.

Merchandising Highlights:

-The company signed two licensing agreements for Emeril in the quarter: a coffee line with Timothy's and a line of all-natural, organic, boxed mixes with Sof'ella Gourmet Natural Foods.
-The top-selling categories for the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's this quarter included Cookware, Gadgets and Luxury Bedding.
-Martha Stewart Crafts benefited from expanded distribution into Wal-Mart, improved performance at Michaels, and integrated marketing initiatives.

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