HOLLINGER, LEE, THOMSON EARNINGS REPORTED

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By: Staff reports

Complete Third Quarter Results Available

Hollinger International

Earnings were down for the quarter ended Sept. 30 and the first nine months at global publisher Hollinger, reflecting infrequent items and $37.6 million in year-to-date startup losses at Canada’s National Post.

Excluding infrequent items, Hollinger reported a $11.5 million net income loss in the quarter, compared with $10.8 million in net income in the year-ago period.

On the same basis, revenues were $499.2 million for the quarter, down 2.5%.

The Chicago Group, which includes the Chicago Sun-Times, reported a 15% rise in pro forma EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) for the quarter, reflecting ad revenue growth, lower newsprint expense, and cost controls. Higher ad revenues and lower newsprint prices also benefited Hollinger’s Community Group of newspapers, which reported a 17% gain in pro forma EBITDA.

Year to date, net income excluding infrequent items was $29.7 million, compared with $55.9 million in the year-ago period. Revenues were $1.5 billion, down 2.4%.

In addition to the Sun-Times and National Post, Hollinger publishes 73 daily newspapers, including London’s Daily Telegraph and The Jerusalem Post, and 309 non-dailies.

Lee Enterprises Inc.

Higher ad spending and lower newsprint prices led to higher profits and revenues in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Net income for the quarter increased 13.2% to $16.9 million on revenues of $134.8 million, a 4% gain. Newspaper publishing revenues rose 5.3% to $105.6 million, led by a 5.1% ad revenue gain, while broadcast revenues were roughly even at $29.2 million, reflecting the absence of last year’s political advertising.

Year to date, net income rose 9.2% to $67.9 million on revenues of $536.3 million, a 3.6% rise.

Based in Davenport, Iowa, Lee’s holdings include 21 daily newspapers plus nine network-
affiliated TV stations.

Thomson Corp.

Toronto-based Thomson reported higher earnings for the third quarter, despite higher Internet-
related and Y2K spending.

For the quarter, earnings from continuing operations rose 5.2% to $201 million on revenues of $1.74 billion, a 4.8% gain.

Year to date, earnings from ongoing operations rose 20% to $234 million on revenues of $4.6 billion, a 5.4% rise. Excluding unusual items and Y2K costs, earnings from ongoing operations rose 27.1% to $272 million.

In the newspaper division, year-to-date operating profit rose 3.3% to $124 million on revenues of $715 million, a 3.5% rise. Growth was impacted by The Globe and Mail’s competition with Hollinger’s startup National Post in Canada and lower profits at its half-
owned newsprint company.

Leading Thomson’s divisions was the Legal and Regulatory group, where year-to-date operating profit rose 18.6% to $357 million, led by strong U.S. sales.

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Staff reports


(c) Copyright 1999, Editor & Publisher

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