Times Mirror lifts earnings p. 53

By: Joanne Messina

Los Angeles-based Times Mirror Co. reported earnings and revenue rose in the fourth quarter and for all of 1998, due partly to a one-time gain from the sale of health science publisher Mosby Inc.
Fourth-quarter net income was $246.3 million, up from $72.2 million in the year-ago period, while revenues rose to $809.7 million from $791.3 million. Excluding one-time items, fourth-quarter income from continuing operations was $80 million. The results exceeded analysts' expectations.
For the year, net income jumped to $1.42 billion from $250.3 million in 1997, as revenues grew to $3 billion from $2.9 billion in 1997.
Times Mirror's newspaper revenues rose 5.9% to $2.31 billion in 1998 on the strength of Baltimore's The Sun and Long Island's Newsday, but overall division results were hurt by soft revenues and higher-than-expected expenses at the flagship Los Angeles Times.
CEO Mark H. Willes expressed disappointment with the results from the Times, where he is publisher, but expects earnings growth in 1999.
Magazine operations reported a loss for the year due to a magazine relaunch, higher paper costs, acquisitions and restructuring.
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