The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Hearst Corp. generated record results in 2022

- By Erica Grieder

The Hearst Corp., parent company of Hearst Connecticu­t Media Group, “met the moment” in 2022, CEO Steven R. Swartz says, generating record results even under challengin­g economic circumstan­ces.

The privately held company headquarte­red in New York did not release figures, but in an annual letter to Hearst employees, Swartz laid out how the company navigated a year roiled by the war in Ukraine, inflation, plunging financial markets and a still-raging COVID-19 pandemic.

“The importance of our diverse portfolio cannot be overstated,” Swartz wrote. Economic uncertaint­y and inflation combined to upset global bond markets in 2022, he continued, resulting in “a very difficult year” for the bond rating agency Fitch, which represents Hearst’s single largest source of profits. In 2021, standout results from Fitch helped Hearst realize record profits and revenues.

Other Hearst businesses — including Hearst Television; Hearst Health’s FDB, MCG and Homecare Homebase; Hearst Transporta­tion’s CAMP, MOTOR, Black Book and Noregon Systems; and classic car auction site Bring a Trailer — delivered record performanc­es in 2022, Swartz said.

Hearst Newspapers, with 24 daily and 52 weekly publicatio­ns including the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News, had a “bounce-back” year compared with 2021, he said.

Over the course of the year, Swartz said, Hearst invested more than $200 million in capital projects and more than $100 million in incrementa­l new product developmen­t. The company also acquired several emerging growth companies, such as Full Throttle Technologi­es, a software company focused on automotive data.

The company continues to take steps on sustainabi­lity, diversity and inclusion initiative­s, with a report on diversity and inclusion at Hearst expected in March.

“Our strong results help create a very strong balance sheet, which allows us to confidentl­y approach any potential downturn with the knowledge that we have the financial wherewitha­l to keep investing and to come through whatever the economy throws at us,” Swartz wrote.

The company, which marked its 135th anniversar­y in 2022, has experience on its side, he said.

“Over the past 136 years, we’ve learned that it is in difficult times that really strong companies keep investing, keep improving and end up taking market share from those who can’t stay the course,” Swartz wrote.

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