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MEREDITH CORPORATION REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER AND FISCAL YEAR RESULTS

MEREDITH CORPORATION REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER AND FISCAL YEAR RESULTS
 DES MOINES, Iowa, Aug. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP) today reported fiscal 1992 fourth quarter operating earnings, before unusual items, of $5,046,000, or 31 cents per share. This was an increase of $454,000, or 4 cents per share, from comparable prior year fourth quarter earnings (before the gain on sale of Fulfillment Services) of $4,592,000, or 27 cents per share.
 The increase in fiscal 1992 comparable fourth quarter operating earnings reflects strong profit improvements in the Magazine and Broadcasting Groups. However, these gains were partially offset by a decline in net interest income and an increase in corporate charges.
 "This is the second straight quarter we've seen significant profit increases in both our Magazine and Broadcasting units," said Jack D. Rehm, Meredith Corporation chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Almost all of our Magazine Group publications posted higher profits in the fiscal 1992 fourth quarter through increased advertising pages and disciplined cost controls. In the Broadcasting Group, six of our stations had higher profits while the seventh station was even with the prior year.
 "I'm obviously pleased by this strong showing in our advertising- driven businesses and I anticipate it will continue into the first quarter of fiscal 1993 based on early reports from these operations. Advertisers are coming back to the market by utilizing our line-up of quality magazines and attractive television demographics to reach their consumers."
 Although fourth quarter operating margins were up in both the Book and Real Estate groups, decreased revenues left operating results flat as compared with the prior quarter. Book Group revenues declined as a result of downsizing direct mail operations during the past year to focus on a better mix of customers. The September 1991 sale of the relocation operations caused Real Estate revenues to fall 12 percent. However, revenues from its continuing operations were higher as favorable interest rates and improved consumer confidence levels continued to bring home buyers into the market.
 Net interest income was down due to lower interest rates and reduced interest-earning balances in the fiscal 1992 fourth quarter. Corporate nonoperating expense reflected increased legal expenses as well as other special items.
 The company reported a fiscal 1992 fourth quarter net loss of $11,311,000, or a negative 70 cents per share. The loss included previously announced charges, totaling $1.01 per share, for unusual operating items.
 A year ago, the company had fourth quarter net earnings of $6,895,000, or 41 cents per share. Fiscal 1991 fourth quarter net earnings included an after-tax gain on the sale of Fulfillment Services which added $2,303,000, or 14 cents per share.
 The fiscal 1992 charge for unusual items consists of special write- downs and restructuring charges. Special write-downs totaling $13,400,000 pre-tax, or 51 cents per share on a post-tax basis, were recognized during the fourth quarter for the write-down of Book Group product inventory and promotional materials, and certain other assets of the corporation. The Book Group write-downs reflected excess and obsolete inventories, and unrecoverable promotional costs resulting from the downsizing and repositioning of its direct mail operations.
 Restructuring charges of $12,983,000 (pre-tax), or 50 cents per share post-tax, were related to the company's recent special voluntary early retirement program and other selective job eliminations.
 Fiscal 1992 fourth quarter revenues were $186,571,000, compared with fiscal 1991 fourth quarter revenues of $188,410,000. This decline in revenues reflects downsizing Book Group direct mail operations and the sales of Fulfillment Services and Real Estate relocation operations.
 FISCAL 1992 COMPARED WITH FISCAL 1991


Excluding all discontinued operations, special charges, gains on sale of businesses and all other non-recurring items from the two-year comparison, fiscal 1992 operating earnings were $17,326,000, or $1.07 per share, as compared with $16,968,000, or $1.01 per share in fiscal 1991. The gain in earnings per share was partially due to a decrease in the number of shares outstanding.
 "This gain in comparable fiscal 1992 operating earnings reflects improved performance in all of our operating groups with the exception of Broadcasting, as well as reduced corporate expenses," Rehm continued. "Reduced interest income also had an unfavorable impact on the two-year comparison.
 "Increased profits in our Magazine Group resulted primarily from additional ad pages in many of the company's magazines and improved profits from newsstand sales. Improved operating results in the Book Group reflected the absence of prior year restructuring costs in the Syndication operation and strong retail sales volume.
 "The Real Estate Group rebounded from fiscal 1991 when the write-off of certain nonperforming assets, as well as recessionary pressures, held down operating results.
 "Corporate nonoperating expense was improved because prior year expenses included a $6 million reserve for legal settlements. This favorable variance was partially offset by additional leasehold expense and legal fees associated with tax litigation.
 "Although two of our Broadcasting properties ended the year with higher revenues and profits, our other stations did not overcome the shortfalls in ad revenues which occurred during the first two quarters of fiscal 1992.
 "In fiscal 1991, net interest income benefited from higher interest rates and higher cash balances. Cash balances were lower in fiscal 1992 due to income tax payments associated with the sale of our printing operations, debt repayments, stock repurchases and the investment in our cable television partnership."
 The company elected to implement Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) No. 106 -- "Employers' Accounting for Post-Retirement Benefits Other Than Pensions" as a one-time charge to net earnings on July 1, 1991. The cumulative effect of adopting this change in accounting principle was $11,775,000 pre-tax, or 45 cents per share post-tax. Earnings in the first three quarters have been restated to reflect the adoption of SFAS No. 106. The additional charge to current- year operating earnings on a pre-tax basis was approximately $800,000.
 The implementation of SFAS No. 106 and the recognition of unusual charges caused Meredith Corporation to post a net loss of $6,331,000, or a negative 39 cents per share, for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1992. In the previous fiscal year, net earnings were $83,126,000, or $4.94 per share. Fiscal 1991 results included earnings from discontinued operations in the amount of $60,302,000, or $3.58 per share. These earnings largely consisted of a gain from the sale of the printing operations ($2.93 per share) and tax benefits related to fiscal 1990 write-downs of discontinued operations.
 Net revenues were $718,236,000 for the 12 months ended June 30, 1992, compared with fiscal 1991 net revenues of $747,732,000. Comparable fiscal 1991 revenues (excluding sales from Fulfillment Services and Real Estate relocation operations) were $719,633,000. The slight decline in comparable revenues is attributed to downsizing book direct mail operations.
 Meredith Corporation, headquartered in Des Moines, is a Fortune 500 diversified media company involved in magazine and book publishing, television broadcasting, residential real estate marketing and franchising and investments in cable television.
 MEREDITH CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS
 (Dollar amounts in thousands, except per share)
 Three Months Ended Fiscal Year Ended
 6/30/92 6/30/91 6/30/92 6/30/91
 Revenues (less returns
 and allowances) $186,571 $188,410 $718,236 $747,732
 Operating costs and expenses:
 Production, distribution and
 editorial 81,728 88,431 334,476 355,251
 Selling, general and
 administrative 93,389 91,272 343,615 355,426
 Depreciation and amortization 4,930 4,445 17,545 18,128
 Unusual items 26,383 -- 26,383 --
 Total operating costs and
 expenses 206,430 184,148 722,019 728,805
 Income (loss) from operations (19,859) 4,262 (3,783) 18,927
 Gain on dispositions -- 3,755 -- 9,677
 Interest income 1,285 2,914 6,339 11,581
 Interest expense (66) (190) (727) (2,895)
 Earnings (loss) from continuing
 operations before income taxes (18,640) 10,741 1,829 37,290
 Income tax expense (benefit) (7,329) 3,846 860 14,466
 Earnings (loss) from continuing
 operations $(11,311) $6,895 $969 $22,824
 Discontinued operations:
 Income from printing operations,
 net of income taxes of $847 -- -- -- 2,717
 Gain on disposition of printing
 operations, net of income taxes
 of $70,003 -- -- -- 49,305
 Gain from other operations,
 including income tax benefits
 of $12,604 -- -- -- 8,280
 Earnings from discontinued operations -- -- -- $60,302
 Cumulative effect of change in
 accounting principle for other post
 retirement benefits (net of income tax
 benefit of $4,475) -- -- (7,300) --
 Net earnings (loss) $(11,311) $6,895 $(6,331) $83,126
 Net earnings per share of common stock:
 Earnings (loss) from continuing
 operations before change in
 accounting principle $(.70) $.41 $.06 $1.36
 Earnings from discontinued operations -- -- -- 3.58
 Effect of change in accounting
 principle -- -- (.45) --
 Net earnings (loss) per share $(.70) $.41 $(.39) $4.94
 Dividends paid per share $.16 $.16 $.64 $.64
 Average number of shares
 outstanding (000s) 16,125 16,780 16,141 16,814
 During fiscal 1992, the company adopted SFAS No. 106 retroactive to July 1, 1991. Accordingly, quarterly results for fiscal 1992 have been restated to reflect the adoption as of the beginning of the first quarter.
 -0- 8/5/92
 /CONTACT: Robin Lenocker of Meredith, 515-284-3386 or (home) 515-279-3744/
 (MDP) CO: Meredith Corporation ST: Iowa IN: PUB SU: ERN


KH -- MN003 -- 7068 08/05/92 11:38 EDT
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