US: Strong Q2 for Martha Stewart

Merchandising and advertising growth boosts company during period.
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Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has reported a five per cent increase in second quarter revenue, up to $77.1 million thanks to strong performances in merchandising and advertising revenue growth across its media businesses.

Increased retail sales at Macy's, along with the expansion of MSLO's crafts line into Wal-Mart - Martha Stewart Create and Martha Stewart Celebrate - all helped to boost the firm.

Revenues for merchandising were $16.2 million for the second quarter of 2008, as compared to $10.4 million in the prior year's second quarter. Operating income was $8.4 million for the period (compared to $3.5 million in 2007).

"Sales of Martha Stewart-branded products were strong in the second quarter despite the difficult retail and economic environment, reflecting the value customers find in our offerings," said Robin Marino, president of merchandising and co-chief executive officer at the company.

"We are confident of the continued success for our lines at Macy's and excited about the expansion of our crafts line into Wal-Mart, which provides a great opportunity to reach mass merchant customers. We're also excited about opportunities to further extend the Emeril brand and its portfolio of merchandising products."

The firm's publishing segment also delivered a strong performance due to increased advertising revenue.

Charles Koppelman, executive chairman of the board, added: "We delivered topline growth and an impressive improvement in profitability, demonstrating the power of our brand and our team's ability to execute even in challenging business conditions."

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