McClatchy Posts Record Q4, 2003 Earnings

By: E&P Staff

Sacramento, Calif.-based publisher McClatchy Co. Thursday announced its 19th consecutive year of daily circulation growth and record-setting earnings in both the fourth quarter of 2003 and the full year.

Fourth-quarter earnings were $45.6 million, compared to $39 million in the same period in 2002, according to a company statement. Revenues were $293 million, a 2.9% increase over $248.7 million in the fourth quarter of the previous year. Advertising dollars were up 3.8%, to $245.3 million. Circulation revenues, however, fell a scant 0.7%, to $41.4 million.

For the full year, earnings from continuing operations were a record $144.2 million compared to $130 million in 2002. Revenues for the entire year eclipsed the billion-dollar mark: $1.1 billion, with $910.6 million in advertising and $165.6 million in circ.

“Our fourth quarter capped a strong year,” said Gary Pruitt, the company’s chairman and chief executive. “In addition to record earnings, we reported our 19th consecutive year of daily circulation growth — our daily and Sunday circulation each increased 0.4%. We also had great success in our direct marketing and Internet operations.”

McClatchy reported that direct marketing revenues grew 8.3%, and Internet revenues were up 35.6% from the fourth quarter of 2002.

McClatchy publishes 12 daily and 18 non-daily newspapers with a daily circulation of 1.41 million and Sunday circulation of 1.86 million. Its newspapers include the Star Tribune (Click for QuikCap) in Minneapolis; The Sacramento Bee (Click for QuikCap), The Fresno Bee and The Modesto Bee in California; The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.; The News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash.; and the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News.

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