NEW YORK - Liberty Media Corp (LINTA.O) posted a decline in operating income and revenue on Friday as sales at its QVC shopping channel plunged in the U.S. and Britain due to a difficult retail environment.
The media conglomerate, controlled by cable pioneer John Malone, posted a consolidated operating income of $275 million compared with a year-earlier operating income of $283 million, across its three main units: Liberty Interactive (LINTA.O); Liberty Entertainment (LMDIA.O) and Liberty Captial (LCAPA.O).
Consolidated revenue fell by 5.5 percent to $1.991 billion.
Liberty Media operates under these three tracking stocks to allow investors to more closely follow the assets which are attributed to each stock.
Liberty Interactive, the unit which holds QVC and several e-commerce companies, posted a decline of 15 percent in adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) to $341 million during the quarter.
The fall was led by a 10 percent decline in revenue at QVC to $1.6 billion due to a reduction in consumer spending which the retailer said caused by the ongoing economic crisis particularly in the U.S. and Britain.
Citigroup analyst Jason Bazinet said in a note that QVC's sales decline had been offset by better operating margins.
Shares in Liberty Interactive rose by 43 cents to $7.14.
Liberty Entertainment Group, which holds Starz Entertainment pay-TV channel, said its revenue increased by 19 percent to $369 million primarily due to the addition of the Liberty Sports Group which was acquired in March 2008.
Liberty Media said on Monday it will merge some of Liberty Entertainment's assets including the sports group with satellite company DirecTV Group (DTV.O) to create a new larger and independent company which will still be called DirecTV.
After the DirecTV transaction, Starz will remain with Liberty Media under a new tracking stock called Liberty Starz.
Liberty Capital, which holds a mix of businesses and stakes in media companies, posted an operating profit of $2 million and revenue increased to $102 million.
(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke; Editing by Derek Caney)