Postmedia, the owner of major daily newspapers across Canada, reported Thursday a net loss in the fiscal quarter ended November 30, 2019, of $3 million. A year before, the loss was $1.4 million.
The company stated in a news release that revenue for the quarter was $156.7 million compared to $171.3 million last year, representing a decrease of $14.6 million or 8.5 per cent. The revenue decline was primarily as result of decreases in print advertising revenue of $12.9 million or 16.8 per cent and print circulation revenue of $3.1 million or 5.8 per cent, the company said.
Digital revenue increased by $2.8 million or 8.7 per cent in the quarter with digital advertising revenue up 11.1 per cent, the same growth rate of digital advertising over the last 12 months, Postmedia said.
“Our teams are focused on executing on our strategy and this focus is reflected in our digital advertising revenue results. Today we reached an impressive milestone – three straight years of double-digit digital advertising revenue growth,” Andrew MacLeod, president and CEO, said in a statement.
“The industry remains in a difficult and disrupted state as pressure on its legacy foundation is accelerating. Any future model relies on growing digital revenue. The success of our teams proves that at Postmedia, we have reason to be cautiously optimistic. Despite these challenges, this established growth provides us with the necessary foundation to transform into a future sustainable model.”
Postmedia said that during the quarter it implemented initiatives including “compensation expense reductions, real estate rationalization, production efficiencies and other transformation programs.” They are expected to save the company approximately $10.4 million annually.
“The company intends to continue to identify and undertake ongoing cost reduction initiatives in an effort to address revenue declination in the legacy print business,” it said.
Mario Toneguzzi is a business reporter in Calgary.