Postmedia owns a network of publications and digital properties across the country, including the National Post and Financial Post. PETER J. THOMPSON/NATIONAL POST FILES
Postmedia Network Canada Corp. posted its 12th straight quarter of double-digit digital advertising revenue growth in the period ended Nov. 30, 2019, which, along with cost cutting, helped generate operating income of $21.4 million before depreciation, amortization and restructuring costs.
The media company, which owns a network of publications and digital properties across the country, including the National Post and Financial Post, reduced operating costs by 8.1 per cent in the fiscal first quarter, while increasing digital advertising revenue by 11.1 per cent.
Overall revenue for the quarter was $156.7 million, down 8.5 per cent from the same period a year earlier. The company said the revenue decline was primarily due to 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.
This was partially offset by a $2.8 million, or 8.7 per cent, increase in digital revenue during the quarter.
“Today we reached an impressive milestone — three straight years of double-digit digital advertising revenue growth,” Andrew MacLeod, chief executive of Postmedia, said in a statement.
He said the industry remains in a “difficult and disrupted state” with the traditional business model under continued pressure as print and circulation revenues decline. But he added that Postmedia’s success at increasing digital revenue provides a reason to be “cautiously optimistic” about the future.
“Despite these challenges, this established growth provides us with the necessary foundation to transform into a future sustainable model,” he said.
Postmedia’s operating income was off slightly, 1.5 per cent, from a year ago, while the decrease in operating expenses included the impact of a change in accounting policy and a “compensation expense recovery” of $2.4 million related to new journalism tax credits.
Net loss for the quarter was $3 million, compared to $1.4 million in the same period in the prior year.