Playboy Announces Third-Quarter Turnaround, $80.2 Million in Revenue

Jeff Berg
NEW YORK — Playboy Enterprises announced a third quarter profit on Tuesday, making a huge turnaround from its $900,000 loss last year at this time.

Playboy stock shares rose more than 8 percent during afternoon trading on Tuesday after the $1.9 million profit was made public.

Total revenue for the quarter increased to $80.2 million, blowing past Reuters Estimates’ forecast of $78.5 million.

“The quarter’s gains demonstrate both the improved operating performance of our businesses and recent debt reduction efforts,” said Christie Hefner, Playboy Enterprises chairman and chief executive officer.

The third-quarter results also indicated that Playboy suffered lower DVD sales, but an increased growth in the television programming market.

Because of its recent launch of United Kingdom-based markets and its increased presence in the video-on-demand market, Playboy entertainment revenues rose more about 8 percent for the third quarter in 2004.

Playboy’s online services also experienced huge growth this quarter, experiencing a nearly 13 percent increase in subscription revenue and raising 9 percent over the same period last year to about $9.7 million.

“2004 has been a significant year for us in terms of executing deals that will benefit the company for years to come,” said Hefner. “We believe that improved entertainment and online results will lead to a stronger fourth quarter than we reported last year.”

Playboy also said that publishing revenue rose 4 percent during the 2004 third quarter, primarily because of a 35 percent increase in advertising revenue for Playboy magazine.

However, the company offered grave predictions for this year’s fourth quarter and stated that it expects advertising pages to decrease by about a quarter before the end of the year, partially due to having published an ad-packed 50th anniversary issue during the same period last year.