A.H. Belo halves loss in 1Q on ProJo distribution revenue
PROVIDENCE JOURNAL parent A.H. Belo Corp. reported a net loss of $4.04 million in the first quarter, an improvement on the media company's first-quarter 2013 loss of $8.02 million. Chairman, President and CEO James M. Moroney III attributed the improvement in part to increased printing and distribution revenues at the Journal.
DALLAS – A.H. Belo Corp., parent company of The Providence Journal, reported a net loss of $4.04 million, or 19 cents per diluted share, during the first quarter of 2014, reducing nearly by half the loss of $8.02 million posted for the same three-month period last year.
Net operating revenue declined 1.3 percent to $85.6 million from $86.7 million in the first quarter of 2013. The drop in revenue was mainly due to a 4.8 percent decrease in advertising and marketing services revenue, which accounts for 54.8 percent of the company’s total net revenue. Advertising revenue totaled $46.8 million for the three months ended March 31, compared with $49.2 million in the first quarter of 2013.
Within A.H. Belo’s advertising and marketing segment, digital revenue increased 18 percent year over year, but the growth was offset by declines in display, preprint and classified advertising revenues, which decreased 16 percent, 5 percent and 2 percent, respectively.
Circulation revenue increased 1.4 percent in the first quarter to $29.3 million, driven in part by increased home-delivery rates for The Providence Journal, A.H. Belo said. Printing and distribution revenue rose 9.3 percent to $9.4 million due to the impact of a previously announced contract to print the Forth Worth Star-Telegram and the expansion of third-party distribution by The Providence Journal.
Chairman, President and CEO James M. Moroney III said the 1.3 percent decline in total revenue was the lowest year-over-year first-quarter decline since the split of the company into freestanding newspaper and television entities in 2008 (the television stations were bought by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2013).
“This improved rate of decline reflects our continued focus on diversifying revenue streams,” Moroney said, “and was driven by continued growth in [digital] marketing services revenue and increased printing and distribution revenues in Dallas and Providence, respectively.”
The company affirmed in the Tuesday earnings report that it is continuing to explore a potential sale of the Journal.
In a reconciliation of its full-company net income to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization from continuing operations, Belo reported a 151 percent increase to $2.2 million. The company anticipates full-year 2014 EBITDA from continuing operations between $28 million and $32 million.