Net revenue increased 15.6% to $55.7 million in the first quarter of 2022 at Beasley Media Group. The company says the gains reflect year-over-year increases in both audio and digital revenue as the ad market continued its recovery from the effects of the pandemic.
“First quarter results highlight ongoing progress toward our goal of returning all of our revenue sources to pre-pandemic levels,” CEO Caroline Beasley said in a release.
Digital revenue increased by 35.5% and accounted for 14% of total revenue for the quarter, “marking further success of our digital transformation strategies,” Beasley continued. The company’s audio segment revenue rose by 13.5% during the quarter.
Comparing the just-released Q1 results to the same period in pre-pandemic 2019, revenue is down $2.0 million, or 3.4%.
Beasley reported an operating loss of $2.7 million in the first quarter of 2022 compared to an operating loss of $2.5 million during the same period last year. The company chalked up the loss to an increase in operating expenses, along with other expenses related to sports and marketing, and its digital agency build-out. Beasley also took a $1.9 million non-cash impairment loss related to the $1.25 million comes out of “Money Talk Radio” WWNN Boca Raton and a pair of related translators.
Interest expense increased $1.1 million to $6.8 million in the quarter, from Beasley issuing senior secured notes in February 2021. That caused the company to report a Q1 net loss of $3.7 million, or 13 cents per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $10.7 million, or 36 cents in the same period last year which also included a $5.0 million loss on extinguishing long-term debt related to the issuance of the secured senior notes.
Beasley ended the first three months of 2022 with $300 million in debt and $50.7 million of cash on the books. The company made an interest payment of $12.9 million in February and repurchased $5 million of its 8.625% senior secured notes at a discount early in the second quarter.
“Looking ahead to the second quarter and second half of 2022, our focus remains on driving further revenue diversification and audience expansion, improving margins, benefiting from the return of the political cycle, maintaining a strong and flexible balance sheet, reducing net leverage and growing free cash flow,” Caroline Beasley continued. “We expect progress on each of these fronts as we continue to close the gap on our pre-pandemic revenue and SOI levels and grow from there.”