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Postmedia reports $52.8 million net profit despite 25 per cent revenue shortfall

Last Updated Jan 13, 2021 at 4:26 pm EST

CALGARY — The owner of Canada’s largest group of newspapers is reporting a 25.4 per cent decrease in revenue in the three months ended Nov. 30 compared to the same period in 2019 as it continues to cope with economic affects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Toronto-based Postmedia Network Canada Corp., publisher of the National Post and other daily newspapers, says it had revenue of $117 million as compared to $157 million in the same period a year earlier.

Net earnings for the quarter came to $52.8 million, versus a loss of $3 million, mainly due to a non-cash gain of $63.1 million related to transferring its employee retirement plan to a third party administrator. That was offset by other non-cash or one-time expenses.

Operating income was $17.2 million in the quarter, a decrease of $4.2 million compared to the same period in 2019.

Postmedia says print advertising revenue fell $20.6 million or 32.1 per cent and digital revenue slipped $10.7 million or 31.1 per cent, with digital advertising revenue down 36 per cent. Print circulation revenue declined $6.2 million or 12.4 per cent versus the same period in the prior year.

It reported lower operating expenses in part due to a compensation recovery of $6.6 million related to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, offset by a $900,000 decrease in recovery related to journalism tax credits.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 13, 2021.

The Canadian Press