By: Staff reports
National Post Losses Continue
Excluding non-recurring items, Hollinger reported lower earnings for the fourth quarter
of 1999 and the year. The year’s results reflected a $44.3 million loss in EBITDA
(earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) at Canada’s National
Post, which launched in the fall of 1998 and has been in a fierce battle with Thomson’s
Globe and Mail.
Earnings per share on that basis were 29 cents for the quarter, down 9.3%, and 53 cents
for the year, down 32%.
At the Chicago newspaper group, led by the Chicago Sun-Times, EBITDA rose 19% to $64.8
million on lower newsprint prices and ad revenue growth. EBITDA at Hollinger’s community
newspapers rose 6.7% to $14.3 million for the year on the same factors.
Hollinger’s Conrad Black said today it would be ‘politically dodgy’ for his company to try
to buy the Canadian newspapers put on the auction block this week by Thomson, according to
Reuters. Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien said Tuesday the government would examine
ownership concentration of Canadian newspapers in light of the Thomson announcment.
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