Q2 up at Torstar

The mediaco's latest financial statement reports that revenues are up for newspapers and digital, thanks to strong national advertising in both media.

Torstar Corporation released its second-quarter financial statement early this morning, showing improved performance over the same period in 2009.

Overall revenue was up $2.8 million over the same quarter last year, to $376.5 million from $373.7 million, while EBITDA was reported at $66.6 million, up $12 million over 2009′s second quarter. The company’s net income was $22.7 million, up $27.1 million from a $4.4 million loss in Q2 last year. Its net debt decreased $13.1 million from the first quarter of this year (ending March 31) to $480.1 million.

Newspapers and digital continued to show what David Holland, Torstar president and CEO, called a ‘modest recovery’ in Q2, posting an increase in revenue of $9.1 million over the second quarter of 2009 to $258.7 million. The division benefitted from ‘strong national advertising’ in both print and digital media, and lower operating costs, the release stated. However, retail and employment advertising remained ‘soft’ in the quarter, the release noted. For the year to date, the division’s revenue was $480.1 million, up 3.4% over the same period last year.

This morning’s announcement also included information on Torstar’s associated businesses, which include share in CTVgm. Torstar’s share of CTVgm’s net loss in Q2 was $6.8 million, a much-reduced figure compared to the $27.6 million loss posted in the same quarter last year. ‘The improved results reflect higher revenues and EBITDA, partially offset by higher amortization and interest expense,’ the release stated. Torstar’s portfolio also includes book publisher Harlequin, which posted an operating revenue of $117.9 million in the second quarter, down from $124.1 million the year prior, and operating profit of $20.4 million, up slightly from $19.7 million in the second quarter of 2009.

‘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,’ Holland said in the release. ‘At Harlequin, we anticipate another good year operationally but the anticipated improvement in earnings is likely to be offset by the negative impact of the strong Canadian dollar on results.’