Weak Ad Market in Midwest Drags Down Profits for Journal Register

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Profits for newspaper publisher Journal Register Co. were down for the quarter ended June 25, largely because of weak advertising revenues in Michigan and Ohio.

The company announced profits Thursday of $9.8 million or 25 cents per share, including a one-time charge of $2.5 million.

With the one-time charge excluded, net income was $12.3 million, or 31 cents per share, down 20 percent from $15.2 million or 37 cents per share for the Trenton-based company for the same period in 2005.

The company’s performance slightly beat the expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial, who expected earnings of 30 cents per share.

Quarterly revenues were $142 million, down 2.5 percent from the same period in 2005.

Since the beginning of the year, profits, including the one-time charge, were $11.5 million or 29 cents per share on revenues of $271.8 million — down nearly 50 percent from the first half of 2005, when earnings were $22.9 million, or 54 cents per share, on revenues of $278 million.

The company said that advertising revenue was $112 million, down 2.7 from the $115 million worth of ads sold in the same period last year. The company said most of the decline came in the company’s Michigan and Cleveland-area newspapers.

The company, which owns 27 daily newspapers, including the New Haven Register in Connecticut, and 365 non-daily newspapers, also reported that advertising revenues for the four weeks ended June 25 were $33.7 million, down 3.4 percent from the same period in 2005.

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