CEO Paton: Journal Register Co. Q2 EBITDA Exceeds Goal, Profit-Sharing Could Kick In

By: Mark Fitzgerald

One year after Journal Register Co. emerged from bankruptcy with a focus on radically changing how it reports and delivers news, the company exceeded its second-quarter financial goal and is “strongly on track” to make profit-sharing payouts, its CEO told employees.

In his company blog, CEO John Paton said JRC finished the quarter with an EBITDA of $12.6 million, ahead of its $12.0 million goal for the quarter.

“Combined with our 1st quarter performance of $8.2 million we finished the first half of the year with EBITDA of $20.8M on a goal of $18.0 Million or 15.6% ahead of our goal,” Paton wrote. “Our goal is to pay out an extra week’s pay this year to all employees for hitting our annual target of $40 million.”

Paton called the first-half performance “a remarkable achievement in this economy and this industry,” while also warning of “tough choices ahead to reduce those infrastructure costs” devoted largely to designing, manufacturing and delivering print newspapers.
Those efforts “will be tough for those affected and their families” (but) not recognizing how tough and how necessary these changes will be is foolish.”

In his message, Paton said with the financial performance so far “we are buying both the time and resources to make the necessary changes.”

Journal Register, which was a publicly traded company when it went into bankruptcy in February 2009, emerged from Chapter 11 on Aug. 11, 2009 as a private company controlled by its former lenders. It is not required to disclose financial results and Paton did not mention any figures beyond EBITDA,  a measure of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or whether the company is profitable.

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