Newspapers and magazines drive lower ad revenue for Quebecor

The company also reiterated its stance that Bell's acquisition of V network will be damaging to Quebec's media ecosystem.

PKPQuebecor on Thursday reported overall growth for Q2 as a strong performance from Videotron helped push year-over-year revenues up 1.8% to $1.06 billion.

In its telecommunications business, revenues climbed 1.4% to $854.4 million.

Meanwhile, its media segment grew 1.9% to $190.1 million. While advertising revenues decreased by $2.7 million for the quarter (a dip Quebecor attributed to lower ad revenue from newspapers and magazines), subscription revenue was up by $2.6 million due to higher subscription revenues following its acquisition of specialty channels Évasion and Zeste. As well, other media revenues were up by $3.7 million as a result of increased production and distribution revenues following its acquisition of Incendo Media earlier this year.

In the sports and entertainment segment, Q2 revenues grew by 11.9% to $41.3 million.

Overall, adjusted EBITDA climbed 6.8% to $455 million, up from $425.9 million a year ago. For the quarter, net income attributable to shareholders was $140.2 million, compared with $42.0 million, representing a $98.2 million increase.

Elsewhere in its financial filings, Quebecor said that Club illico had 431,000 subscribers as of June 30, a decrease of 700 from the previous quarter. Over the past 12 months, the streaming service has increased its subscriber total by 39,100.

The company also used its Q2 financial filing to highlight disputes with Bell on a number of fronts. The most recent of those is Bell Media’s proposed acquisition of French-language conventional TV net V from Groupe V Media. Quebecor president and CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau (pictured) said the acquisition, which is still subject to regulatory approvals, will “further undermine Québec’s media ecosystem by allowing a dominant player to become even more so.”

Péladeau’s comments come two weeks after Quebecor first voiced its opposition to the transaction. At the time, the company pointed to Bell’s proposed acquisition of specialty channels Séries+ and Historia – a transaction that was blocked by the Competition Bureau in May of last year.

Quebecor also took aim at the CRTC, with Péladeau reiterating the company’s stance that the challenges in the Quebec market have been “exacerbated by the lack of decisive action by regulatory authorities to modernize the Canadian system.” In June, Quebecor subsidiary TVA Group eliminated 68 positions in a bid to reduce its operating expenses. Those cuts came after a carriage dispute between Quebecor and Bell that saw resulted in both companies being called to a CRTC hearing in Gatineau in April.