Postmedia reports fourth-quarter loss as print advertising weakens

TORONTO – Weak print advertisement revenues weighed heavy on Postmedia’s fourth quarter results, and the media company doesn’t expect any improvement next year, as it works to turn around its operations.

The owner of several big city newspapers, including the National Post, Vancouver Sun and the Ottawa Citizen, said losses from continuing operations deepened to $35.8 million in the fourth quarter, or 89 cents per share.

That compares to a loss of $28.4 million, or 70 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Postmedia (TSX:PNC.B) said revenues slid to $169.3 million from $190.1 million.

Much of the decline was driven by lower print advertising revenues, which fell 16.2 per cent in the three month period, with the weakness stretching across all of its major advertising categories.

National print advertising fell 20.3 per cent, while retail ads dropped 14 per cent, classified were down 16.7 per cent, and insert ads declined 7.3 per cent.

“We anticipate the print advertising market to remain challenging and expect current trends to continue into fiscal 2014,” the company said in its financial documents.

Quarterly revenues from sales of its newspapers dropped 3.6 per cent, it said.

Postmedia has been cutting costs across its operations as part of a three-year program to transform its money-losing business.

For the year, the company says it has managed to reduce operating costs by about 12 per cent, or $82 million.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.