Newspaper Revenue Up at ?Toronto Star? Parent in Q2

By: Mark Fitzgerald

Torstar Corp. Wednesday became the third publishing company in the second-quarter earnings season to report a year-over-year increase in newspaper revenue.

The publisher of The Toronto Star, Canada’s biggest daily, and the Metroland community papers, said its newspaper and digital unit realized Q2 revenue of $258.7 million, up $9.1 million, or 3.6%, from the year-ago quarter. (All results are Canadian dollars. C$1 = US$0.97)

The gain, Torstar said, reflects “strong national advertising in both print and digital media. “Retail and employment advertising remained soft during the quarter,” it added.
Newspaper and digital revenue was also up 3.4%  for the first half of 2010, Torstar reported.

But like other publishers that reported Q2 newspaper revenue gains, including The New York Times Co. and the former Canwest newspaper group now operating as Postmedia Network, Torstar cautioned that the economic headwinds that buffeted newspapers for the past three years may not yet have abated.
“Looking forward, we continue to be cautious on the newspapers and digital revenue outlook given our revenue experience in the first half of the year and the nature of the economic recovery we are experiencing,” President and CEO David Holland said.

Torstar’s overall revenue increased $2.8 million to $376.5 million in the quarter. Revenue was depressed by the stronger Canadian dollar, Torstar said. Excluding that factor, revenue was up $15.2 million or 4.2% in Q2, it said.

Net income was $22.7 million, or 29 cents per share in the second quarter compared to a loss of $4.4 million, or 6 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

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