N.Y. Times Co. 2010 Forecast: Improving Print Revenue Picture, But Rising Costs

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By: E&P Staff

In its presentation to J.P. Morgan’s media conference Monday, The New York Times Co. said it expects the print newspaper advertising revenue to improve in the second quarter with digital increases in the high teens.

But Times executives also caution that they will not show the big year-over-year cost savings because of tough comparable with the deep cuts imposed in 2009, and because the company has restored salary rollbacks and faces the prospect of higher newsprint prices.

The  Times Co. said it expects newsprint price comparisons to be “slightly favorable” in the second quarter and “unfavorable” in the third and fourth quarters of 2010.

“We do expect to manage our operating cost base such that we will adjust expense levels to offset any revenue declines through the remainder of the year,’ the company said in a statement.
“Based on what we have seen to date, we continue to expect year-over-year revenue trends for the second quarter for print advertising to improve from the levels of the first quarter, while digital advertising is expected to trend similarly to the first quarter, with increases from 2009 in the high teens,” President and CEO Janet L. Robinson said in a statement.

In the presentation, the company reaffirmed the 2010 expectations it provided in its first-quarter earnings release, including these items on a pre-tax basis:

* Depreciation and amortization: $125 to $130 million,
* Capital expenditures: $45 to $55 million,
* Interest expense, net: $85 to $90 million, and
* Income from joint ventures: $5 to $10 million, excluding a gain of approximately $13 million (the company’s share is approximately $10 million) from the sale of an asset at one of the paper mills in which the company has an investment and a gain of approximately $9 million from the sale of a portion of the company’s interest in New England Sports Venture.

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