Discovery Communication's first quarter profits climbed 80 percent to $305 million as the company handed off Discovery Health to OWN.
The $305 million ($0.74 per diluted share) increased $136 million over last year's first quarter profits of $169 million ($0.39 per diluted share) for the first quarter a year ago, according to the company's earnings report Thursday.
The results reflect strong operating performance and a gain of $102 million, net of tax, for contributing Discovery Health network to the OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network ("OWN") joint venture, which was partially offset by an increased provision for income taxes.
The company also boasted a 15 percent gain in ad revenues, compared with the first quarter a year ago, excluding Discovery Health.
First quarter revenues increased 9 percent, to $951 million, led by 8 percent growth at U.S. Networks and 14 percent growth at international networks, the company said.
"Discovery's strong first quarter results reflect the operating momentum we are generating across our global portfolio in a continued favorable economic climate," Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav said in a statement. "Our consistent investment in content over the past four years, along with a drive to expand our subscriber base domestically and internationally, has enabled Discovery to grow our audiences across the globe. "