Ads, Web Give Lee a Lift

By: E&P Staff

Lee Enterprises of Davenport, Iowa, announced that for its third quarter ending in June, earnings per share grew 12.5% or $.54 when compared to the same period last year.

Total advertising revenue for Q3 grew 7.8% or $131.4 million. Retail was up 41%, classified was up 9.8%, online ad revenues increased 34.4% and niche publications grew 40%.

For the same period, operating expenses increased 6.4% to $125.3 million. Compensation was up 3.3% and newsprint costs were up 9.5%. The company said that new niche publications — like the new youth oriented Core Weekly slated for late summer — and programs to increase circulation also accounted for costs.

Circulation revenue was almost flat at 0.2% though Merrill Lynch pointed out that the slight gains were made mostly through acquisitions. On the same property basis, circulation revenue growth decreased 0.6%.

Year to date, advertising revenue increased 6.2% to $377 million. Total operating revenue grew 5.1% to $509.3 million.

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