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Scripps acquires uSwitch.com
Company adds comparison shopping for essential home services to portfolio of interactive businesses


March 16, 2006 -- The E.W. Scripps Company, in a move that further capitalizes on the increasing use and profitability of specialized Internet search, today acquired uSwitch.com, the United Kingdomís leading provider of online price comparison and switching for essential home services and personal finance. Scripps is listed on the New York Stock Exchange code : SSP.

Founded in 2000, uSwitch.com is an online service that helps consumers compare rates on gas, electricity, home phone, digital television, broadband, credit cards, and secured and unsecured personal loans. The company has developed a series of calculators which evaluate several factors including price, type of service, location and payment method, all designed to help consumers find the best deal and enable them to conveniently switch their service provider online. uSwitch.com has grown by saving consumers money and estimates that the average saving for people who switch credit card through it is £130. The company claims that the average saving for customers switching home phone is £120 and £140 for those who switch energy supplier.

Scripps paid $366 million (£210 million) in net cash for 100 percent of the outstanding shares of privately held uSwitch Ltd. The acquisition is expected to be dilutive to earnings per share in 2006 and 2007 and accretive to earnings thereafter. The transaction is expected to be accretive to free cash flow (net income plus depreciation and amortization, less capital expenditures and working capital) beginning in 2007.

The acquisition of uSwitch.com adds a second, rapidly growing, freestanding interactive media business to the Scripps portfolio. In June of last year the company acquired Shopzilla, an online service that enables shoppers to quickly find, compare and buy millions of products sold by more than 65,000 merchants. Shopzilla, based in Los Angeles, is expanding across Europe with offices in the U.K. and Web sites in the U.K., France and Germany.

Both uSwitch.com and Shopzilla are the foundation of a newly created interactive media division for the company. Tim Peterman, senior vice president of interactive media for Scripps, will oversee the development of these rapidly growing and valuable Internet-based businesses.

The uSwitch.com service is free to consumers. The majority of uSwitch.comís revenue is derived from commissions paid by participating service providers. A commission is collected by uSwitch.com when a consumerís service is switched to a new provider. The company has contractual arrangements with the leading service providers in each home service category.

The company started as a service for switching between providers of energy, which is a deregulated market in the U.K. More than half of the companyís revenue today is derived from consumers switching energy providers with nearly half of future revenue growth coming from other categories.

uSwitch.com also owns UpMyStreet.com, the U.K.ís leading local information Web site. UpMyStreet helps customers choose new places to live, save time and money in and around their homes, and find local shops and services.

For the full year 2006 uSwitch.com is expected to generate approximately $10 million to $15 million (£6 million to £9 million) in segment profit on revenue of $40 million to $45 million (£23 million to £26 million). Revenue last year was $25 million (£14 million). Scripps defines segment profit as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, and also excludes investment results and unusual items.

Scripps expects the acquisition to be dilutive to 2006 earnings per share by between $0.10 and $0.15. The above amounts are approximate, based on the current exchange rate and preliminary purchase price accounting. Over the long term Scripps expects uSwitch to generate segment profit margins in the 40- to 50-percent range.

Scripps will finance the transaction by borrowing under the companyís commercial paper program.

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Publisher Contact Information:

uSwitch.com
+44 7979 692 287
tonyl@lansons.com

Company profile of uSwitch.com (Acquired by Scripps)
Past press releases of uSwitch.com (Acquired by Scripps).

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