Print revenue continues to decline at Postmedia

The company reported a profitable fourth quarter and fiscal year, but as financial results revealed, print revenue continues to dwindle.
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Postmedia reported a profitable fourth quarter and fiscal year for the period ending Aug. 31, but the media company continues to struggle with its print revenue.

The sale of Postmedia’s media monitoring business Infomart, which was finalized Aug. 31, helped bolster quarterly net earnings to $40.3 million, compared to the net loss of $99.4 million in the same period for 2016.

This makes two consecutive quarters Postmedia has posted profit thanks in part to one-time transactions or cost-saving measures. Changes to its employee benefits plans resulted in a profitable quarter for Q3 as well.

Overall revenue for the quarter was down 9.16% year-over-year, landing at $176.81 million. Digital advertising revenue was up ($26.32 million, from $22.88 million the previous year) but did not offset drops in print advertising, print circulation and other revenues.

Staff compensation for the quarter was reduced by more than $17 million year-over-year, part of Postmedia’s cost-saving initiatives.

Fiscal 2017 results

Revenues for the fiscal year fell 12.33% from 2016, landing at $754.26 million. Although digital revenue rose 12.44%, other revenues fell by 15.37%.

However, digital now represents a larger portion of Postmedia’s total revenue, now just shy of 14%, up from 10.9%.

Postmedia pulled in positive net earnings ($44.8 million) as opposed to the net loss it reported the prior year ($352.5 million), the result of factors including a $241.9 million decrease in non-cash impairment charges, a gain on debt settlement of $78.6 million and a decrease in interest expense, as well as a gain on the sale of Infomart.

Operating income before depreciation, amortization, impairment and restructuring, however, was $54.6 million for the year, a decrease of $19.5 million from the fiscal year 2016. This was due primarily to revenue declines.