A.H. Belo’s First Quarter Result is Loss

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By: E&P Staff

A.H. Belo Corp., the newspaper pure play spun off from Dallas-based Belo Corp., reported its first quarterly result was a loss of $8.7 million, or 43 cents a share, on revenues that tumbled 8.8% to $160.2 million.

Advertising revenue, including print and Internet revenue, fell 12% in the quarter compared to a year ago.

The chain was particularly hard hit at its major California property, where ad revenue for The Press-Enterprise in Riverside plummeted 26%.

A.H. Belo said its newspaper margin — measured by EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) — fell by 5 percentage points to 9%.

Internet revenue of $12 million accounted for 7.5% of A.H. Belo’s total revenues.

Circulation revenue was up 5.4% in the quarter, on a 12% rise at the flagship Dallas Morning News.

Total newspaper expense decreased by $5.3 million or 3.5% in the quarter, including a $2.9 million drop in newsprint expense, most of which came from a decrease in usage.

In its general financial guidance for the remainder of the year, A.H. Belo said it expects to see a continuing decline in ad revenue for 2008, with the Press-Enterprise seeing the biggest reductions.

“A. H. Belo is navigating through a challenging operating environment, but I am confident about the quality of our markets long-term, the strengths of AHC’s brands, and our ability to continue to transform AHC in an Internet-centric media world,” Chairman, President, and CEO Robert W. Decherd said in a statement.

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