Losses mount at Postmedia as advertising, circulation revenues weaken

TORONTO — Postmedia Network Canada Corp. (TSX:PNC.B, TSX:PNC.A) says its losses mounted in the third quarter as Canada’s largest newspaper chain saw advertising and circulation revenues tumble at a faster pace.

The owner of the National Post and numerous major city dailies reported a loss of $140.8 million, or 84 cents per share, in the three months ended May 31.

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That’s a major decline from losses of $20.6 million, or 51 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Postmedia acquired Sun Media’s English-language newspapers and digital properties on April 13 and this marks the first time Sun assets were included in its financial results, though it was only for about a month and a half.

Postmedia attributed the weaker quarter to a $151.2-million charge it booked for goodwill and intangible assets, a figure that included a charge of half a million dollars to recognize losses on assets up for sale.

Overall, the combined operations benefited from the presence of the Sun papers. Print advertising revenues for all of Postmedia grew 18.5 per cent to $112.2 million, while print circulation revenue increased 20.4 per cent to $59 million. Digital revenues grew 11.7 per cent to $25.7 million.

Postmedia did not disclose the total revenues for print advertising, print circulation and digital advertising without the Sun papers in its financial results.

But excluding the Sun papers, Postmedia said print advertising revenues dropped 20.2 per cent or $19.1 million. Print circulation revenues were also down 6.5 per cent or $3.2 million.

Digital advertising revenue — considered by Postmedia to be a crucial part of its future business — declined four per cent or $900,000.

“This quarter we became the new Postmedia,” said president and CEO Paul Godfrey in a statement.

“Expanding our scale and scope with the addition of more than 170 new brands, 2,500 employees and tens of thousands of readers and audiences strengthens our company and sets us on a good course for the future.”

Postmedia (TSX:PNC.B, TSX:PNC.A) says it will look at further ways to reduce its overall expenses, and believes the Sun papers provide new ways to help reduce another $50 million in operating costs by the end of fiscal 2017.



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