More Bad 2Q News: Ad Revenues Down 10.6% at Journal Register

By: E&P Staff

Journal Register Co., publisher of the New Haven (Conn.) Register and 21 other dailies, reported falling profits for the second quarter on ad revenues that plunged 10.6%.

Yardley, Pa.-based Journal Register said its adjusted net income was $6.5 million, or 17 cents per diluted share, for the quarter ended July 1, $11.2 million, or 28 cents per diluted share, for the quarter ended June 25, 2006.

Advertising revenues from continuing operations fell 10.6% to $92.7 million in the quarter.

Journal Register results continue to be hammered down by poor performances from its cluster of papers in Michigan, which is suffering a recession. Without the Michigan cluster, total ad revenues were down 8.8% for the quarter, the company said.

Total revenues for the quarter fell 8.5% to $120.7 million.

“Our second quarter results, although not satisfactory, are consistent with the adverse advertising market that continues to affect the newspaper publishing industry in almost all sectors,” acting CEO James W. Hall said in a statement.

Journal Register newspapers reported softness in all advertising categories.

Retail ad revenues fell 10.8%, dragged down by what the chain called “particular softness” in the Michigan cluster. “While there were trend improvements in the home furnishings and dining/entertainment advertising revenue categories, the financial/insurance and grocery/food/drugstore categories remained weak,” it said.

Total classified advertising revenues decreased 9.2% in the quarter. Excluding Michigan newspapers, the decline was 6.7%.

Classified employment advertising revenues were down 5.7% for the quarter. “We are beginning to see some improvement in classified employment advertising revenues, particularly in our Greater Cleveland, Mid-Hudson and Capital-Saratoga clusters,” CFO Julie A. Beck said.

Classified auto revenues, which were hit hardest by Michigan declines, plunged 11.9%. Excluding the Michigan Cluster, classified auto was down 6.2%, the company said.

Classified real estate advertising revenues dropped 17.5%.

National advertising revenues, which account for about 4% of total ad revenues, plunged 19.7%.

Circulation revenue trends continue to improve, Journal Register said, with second-quarter results essentially flat.

Online revenues were $4.7 million for the quarters, an increase of 19.7%.

Newsprint expense declined a total of 11.7% during the quarter. A decrease in consumption accounted for a 7.5% expense decrease, while lower prices led to a 4.5% decrease.

Journal Register had $646.4 million of debt outstanding as of July 1. That’s down $79.9 million since December 31, 2006.

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