Q2 Earnings up on Lower Revenues at FP Canadian Newspapers

By: E&P Staff

FP Canadian Newspapers Limited Partnership, owner of the Winnipeg Free Press, Brandon Sun and non-dailies publisher Canstar Community News, reported second-quarter revenue down 2.5%, to $28.9 million (Canadian), compared with the same period in 2009, which it attributed to declines in advertising, flyer-distribution, circulation, and promotional-services revenues.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were C$7.1 million, a gain of C$500,000, or 7.4%, from the year-earlier period.

Net earnings of C$4.9 million in the quarter compared with C$2.8 million in the same quarter last year, an increase attributed primarily to the higher EBITDA and reduced interest expense associated with settlement of the subordinated notes in the fourth quarter of 2009.

At the same time, operating expenses, excluding amortization, fell 5.3%, to C$21.9 million, partly because of lower newsprint and newspaper-delivery costs.

The company also confirmed it will proceed with plans to move the Sun’s printing to Winnipeg and is considering “various options” for the Brandon building and equipment.

FP Newspapers Income Fund, which owns 49% of FPLP, saw second-quarter net earnings fall to C$2.0 million (29.7 cents per unit) from C$2.2 million (31.5 cents per unit). The fund said the decrease was primarily due to costs associated with its conversion to a corporation, which unitholders approved by in May.

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