Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Kids' ads don't pay like they used to, Corus says

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TORONTO -- Corus Entertainment is blaming the kids for a chunk of the weakness it experienced during the second quarter as it suffered from a slide in advertising revenues in its television business.

The TV, radio and animation company reported a double-digit decline in revenue and weaker profits it characterized as "softness," but it was tough to nail down exactly where the company stumbled most.

Executives pointed toward numerous factors related to its TV ad revenue, which fell 12 per cent on a tepid response from advertisers for children's programming.

"Virtually all of that was related to the entertainment space, which just was a real disappointment to us in the quarter," chief executive John Cassaday told analysts on a conference call.

"A problem well-defined is a problem half-solved and to define the specific problem, it was kids and then more specifically, the entertainment sector."

Corus operates a slate of specialty television channels, including YTV, Treehouse, Nickelodeon Canada and ABC Spark, which cater to children and family shows. It also owns the W Network, the Canadian version of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and Cosmopolitan TV. Together, the kids and women's programming channels make up a notable chunk of its operations.

In the second quarter, the company's profits attributable to shareholders fell nearly 26 per cent to $5.9 million or seven cents per diluted share in the three months ended Feb. 28, as it recognized a $25-million pre-tax debt refinancing charge. The results were down from $31.6 million on 38 cents in the 2012 period that ended Feb. 29.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 12, 2013 B6

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