NEW YORK-Significant reductions in key expense categories helped Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) narrow its first-quarter net loss from $3 million last year to $2.2 million this year.
Operating expenses in the quarter, which ended on March 31 were slashed by 11.9 percent. This included a 25.2 percent decrease in production, distribution and editorial expenses; a drop of 16.1 percent in selling and promotion expenses; and a 20.5 percent reduction in general and administrative expenses.
Total revenues fell 10.6 percent to $33.3 million. Merchandising revenues, including sales of Martha Stewart-branded products at retail, gained 13.7 percent to $13.1 million—thanks in part to J.C. Penney’s return of the MSLO shares it purchased when the retailer embarked on its partnership with MSLO in 2011. However, MSLO’s top line suffered from a 20.3 percent drop in publishing revenues, to $19.5 million, and a plummet in broadcasting revenues of 45.1 percent to $678,000.
Dan Dienst, MSLO’s CEO, said, “First-quarter results reflect the current transition underway at the company as we start to benefit from the significant changes we made at the end of 2013 to realign our business. Our efforts in 2014 are now keenly focused on growing our business across all verticals and with existing and new partners.”