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Thursday, Sep 21, 2023

Roundup: Crown Media, Arden Group

Crown Media Holdings Inc. on Friday reported lower fourth quarter profit but increased revenue and show ratings. The Studio City owner and operator of Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel posted net income of $26.6 million (7 cents a share). That compares with net income of $70 million (19 cents) in the same period a year earlier, which included $44 million tax benefit. Revenue increased more than 16 percent to more than $118 million. The company attributes the revenue growth to increases in ratings and subscriber fees, which rose 5 percent to $81.8 million. Selling, general and administrative expense rose 8 percent to $18.6 million. Crown “Countdown to Christmas” programming gave the company its highest rated quarter, month, week and day in company history. The “campaign positively impacted advertising sales revenue and garnered record high ratings,” Chief Executive Bill Abbot said in a statement. For the year, the company posted net income of $67.7 million (19 cents), compared with more than $107 million (30 cents) in 2012. Revenue rose more than 7 percent to nearly $378 million. Shares closed up 20 cents, or more than 6 percent, to $3.37 on the Nasdaq. Arden Group Arden Group Inc. said that investment firm TPG had completed its acquisition of the company, which operates the Encino-based Gelson’s Markets chain. The purchase price for the Compton-based parent company came to $394 million, with TPG of Fort Worth, Texas, paying $126.50 a share. Gelson’s operates 17 upscale supermarkets around Southern California. Gelson’s operational office will remain based in Encino. Yvonne Manganaro, a spokesperson for Gelson’s, confirmed the new owners plant to grow the chain. A La Canada Flintridge location, which was in the works prior to TPG’s purchase, will open March 27 and one to two stores a year should follow over the next three to seven years. Manganaro said that future stores could open anywhere from Santa Barbara County to San Diego County, although Gelson’s is most actively looking in San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties, potentially including locations in the San Fernando Valley.

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