The company which owns the Winnipeg Free Press, the Brandon Sun and a number of Manitoba regional and community newspapers has reported an increase in first-quarter profit despite a broad-based decline in revenues.
FP Canadian Newspapers Limited Partnership (FPLP) said today its net earnings for the three-month period grew by $600,000, or 26 per cent, to $2.9 million from $2.3 million in the same period last year.
That was despite revenues falling by $1.3 million, or 4.6 per cent, to $25.7 million. The company said circulation, display advertising, classified advertising, and flyer distribution revenues were all down during the quarter, in part because of two fewer publishing days during the first quarter of this year than in the first three months of 2012. The only category where revenues were up was commercial printing, which saw a $200,000 improvement.
The saving grace was a $1.7 million (7.2 per cent) reduction in operating expenses due to a combination of lower newsprint and employee compensation costs, and a 16.6 decline in "other" expenses.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased by 11.8 per cent to $4.4 million from $3.9 million.
FP Newspapers Inc. (FPI), the publicly traded entity which is entitled to 49 per cent of FPLP’s distributable cash, also reported its first-quarter results today prior to its annual shareholders meeting.
Its net earnings grew to $1.0 million, or 14.1 cents per share, from $800,000, or 11.6 cents per share, in the first three months of 2012.