Postmedia Network posts falling revenue in a tough market

Toronto-based media company Postmedia Network Canada Corp. posted declining revenue but managed to reduce its annual loss by one third, as its CEO Paul Godfrey pushed promising growth opportunities in the firm’s 4th quarter results, which were released on Friday.

Total net loss for the 2014 Financial Year (ending Aug 31) was $107.5 million compared to a $160.2 million loss in FY2013. The decrease was mainly due to a $100 million non-cash impairment charge.

FY 2014 operating loss was $35.5 million versus a $77.5 million loss in FY 2013.

EBITDA (earnings before depreciation, amortization, impairment and restructuring) was $109.5 million, which was $20.4 million lower than in the previous year. This was due to revenue declines of $77.3 million, which were partly offset by lower operating expenses ($56.9 million).

Postmedia Network Canada Corp.

(Data Source: Postmedia Network Canada Corp.)

Fourth quarter results

Fourth quarter (ending August 31) loss was $49.8 million, compared to a $47.9 million loss in Q4 last year. Operating loss in Q4 was $28.1 million versus a $24.5 million loss in Q4 one year ago.

EBITDA in Q4 came in at $15.7 million, which was $7.4 million (32.1%) less than in the same period last year. The decline was due to a fall in revenue of $22.5 million, which was partially offset by a drop in operating expenses of $15.1 million.

Fourth quarter revenue was $146.8 million versus $169.3 million in Q3 2013, representing a fall of 13.3%. The decline was mainly due to weaker print advertising revenue, which fell by 21% to $19.8 million, with the falls occurring across every category.

Revenue from print circulation declined by 2.7% ($1.4 million) due to weaker circulating volumes, which were partially offset by higher prices. Digital revenue also fell, by 5.3% ($1.1 million), compared to one year ago.

President and CEO, Paul Godfrey, said:

“While we continue to see the impacts of a very challenging revenue environment, particularly with respect to declines in print advertising, we are focused on potential growth areas. Our four platform strategy is bolstered by the recent launch of entirely new products on print, web, tablet and smartphone platforms – most recently in Montreal, to be followed soon by Calgary.”

“Subject to regulatory approval, we believe the proposed acquisition of the Sun Media assets will strengthen the Company and the future of the news media business in Canada putting us in a better position to compete against non-traditional competitors including foreign-based digital giants.”

Postmedia Network Canada Corp. is Canada’s biggest publisher by circulation of paid English-language daily newspapers. It also has the highest weekly print readership of paid English-language daily newspapers in the country. The company employs nearly 3,300 workers.