New Media posts $2.6M profit in Q2, 78% drop over the year, and pays $23M in dividends

NEW MEDIA INVESTMENT GROUP, owner of The Providence Journal, among other local papers, reported a profit of $2.6 million in the second quarter of 2019. / PBN FILE PHOTO/PAM BHATIA
NEW MEDIA INVESTMENT GROUP, owner of The Providence Journal, among other local papers, reported a profit of $2.6 million in the second quarter of 2019. / PBN FILE PHOTO/PAM BHATIA

PROVIDENCE – The same day that it announced its purchase of Gannett Co., New Media Investment Group Inc. reported a second-quarter profit of $2.6 million Monday’s earnings report showed a 77.7% decline from one year prior, when the company posted a profit of $11.7 million, or 20 cents per diluted share.

New Media owns and operates several papers in the Rhode Island and Massachusetts market, including the Providence Journal, The Taunton Gazette, The Newport Daily News, The Cape Cod Times, Fall River Herald News, The Worcester Telegram and The New Bedford Standard-Times.

Revenue for the newspaper chain increased 4% year over year to $404.4 million. Meanwhile, organic same-store revenues declined 6.9% year over year. At the same time, New Media reported that it paid dividends of roughly $23 million, or 38 cents per share.

The company said that print advertising revenue declined 1.5% year over year to $184.8 million. Circulation revenue increased 4.4% over the year to $150.9 million. Commercial printing and other revenue totaled $68.8 million for the quarter, a 21.4% increase, although the company noted that significant part of that kind of revenue shows its best performance in the April through June period.

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Integration and reorganization costs for the company totaled $3.2 million in the quarter, an increase from $1.7 million in the second quarter of 2018.

“Our results this quarter were in line with our expectations and reflect improvement over the first quarter in organic same store revenue by fifty basis points. Our growth businesses continue to perform well, with revenue at GateHouse Live up 82.9% over the prior year. Circulation revenue trends were in line with the first quarter, and we continue to see strength in our strategy to grow subscribers, with digital subscriptions of 195,000, up 54.6% to prior year,” said Michael E. Reed, New Media CEO and president, in a statement.

Read this week’s PBN’s cover story on the relationship between The Providence Journal, New Media and GateHouse Media here.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor. You may reach him at Bergenheim@PBN.com.

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