Graham Healthcare Group (GHG) provides home health and hospice services in three states. In June 2016, the Company acquired the outstanding 20% redeemable noncontrolling interest in Residential Healthcare (Residential). Also in June 2016, Celtic Healthcare (Celtic) and Residential combined their business operations and the Company now owns 90% of the combined entity. The Company incurred approximately $2.0 million in expenses in conjunction with these transactions in the second quarter of 2016. At the end of June 2017, GHG acquired Hometown Home Health and Hospice, a Lapeer, MI-based healthcare services provider. Healthcare revenues increased 5% in 2017, while operating results were down, due largely to increased bad debt expenses and higher information systems and other integration costs.
In June 2016, Residential and a Michigan hospital formed a joint venture to provide home health services to West Michigan patients. GHG manages the operations of the joint venture and holds a 40% interest. The pro rata operating results of the joint venture are included in the Company’s equity in earnings of affiliates. In connection with this transaction, the Company recorded a pre-tax gain of $3.2 million in the second quarter of 2016 that is included in other income (expense), net.
SocialCode is a provider of marketing solutions on social, mobile and video platforms. SocialCode revenue increased 5% in 2017, due to continued growth in digital advertising service revenues. SocialCode reported an operating loss of $3.7 million in 2017 compared to $12.4 million in 2016. SocialCode’s operating results included incentive accruals of $1.4 million related to phantom equity appreciation plans in 2017; whereas 2016 results included incentive accruals of $12.8 million related to phantom equity plans. As of December 31, 2017, the accrual balance related to these plans was $15.1 million.
Other businesses also include Slate and Foreign Policy, which publish online and print magazines and websites; and two investment stage businesses, Panoply and CyberVista. Losses from each of these businesses in 2017 adversely affected operating results.
Corporate Office. Corporate office includes the expenses of the Company’s corporate office, the pension credit for the Company’s traditional defined benefit plan and certain continuing obligations related to prior business dispositions. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the Company recorded an $18.0 million gain related to a bulk lump sum pension program offering.
Excluding the pension gain, the total pension credit for the Company’s traditional defined benefit plan was $72.9 million and $64.1 million for 2017 and 2016, respectively.
Excluding the pension credit, corporate office expenses increased slightly in 2017 due primarily to higher professional services costs.
Equity in Losses of Affiliates. At December 31, 2017, the Company held interests in a number of home health and hospice joint ventures, and interests in several other affiliates. During 2017, the Company acquired approximately 11% of Intersection Holdings, LLC, a company that provides digital marketing and advertising services and products for cities, transit systems, airports, and other public and private spaces. The Company recorded equity in losses of affiliates of $3.2 million for 2017, compared to $7.9 million in 2016. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the Company recorded an $8.4 million write-down on its investment in HomeHero, a company that managed an online senior home care marketplace.
Other Non-Operating Income (Expense). The Company recorded total other non-operating income, net, of $4.2 million in 2017, compared to non-operating expense, net, of $12.6 million in 2016.
The 2017 non-operating income, net, included $3.3 million in foreign currency gains and other items. The 2016 non-operating expense, net, included $39.9 million in foreign currency losses; $29.4 million in cost method investment write-downs; and $1.8 million in net losses on the sales of marketable securities, partially offset by a $34.1 million gain on the sale of land; an $18.9 million gain on the sale of a business; a $3.2 million gain on the Residential joint venture transaction and other items.
Net Interest Expense. The Company incurred net interest expense of $27.3 million in 2017, compared to $32.3 million in 2016. At December 31, 2017, the Company had $493.3 million in borrowings outstanding at an average interest rate of 6.3%; at December 31, 2016, the Company had $491.8 million in borrowings outstanding at an average interest rate of 6.3%.
(Benefit from) Provision for Income Taxes. The Company is reporting an income tax benefit of $119.7 million for 2017, which was significantly impacted by the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017. Overall, the Company recorded a $177.5 million net deferred tax benefit in the fourth quarter of 2017 as a result of enactment of this legislation, due largely to the revaluation of the Company’s U.S. deferred tax assets and liabilities to the lower federal tax rate and a significant reduction in the amount of deferred taxes previously provided on undistributed earnings of investments in non-U.S. subsidiaries. In the first quarter of 2017, the Company recorded a