PROVIDENCE – New Media Investment Group Inc., the parent company of the Providence Journal and The Newport Daily News, reported a net loss of $915,000 in 2017, compared with a $31.6 million profit in 2016. Revenue for the year increased to $1.34 billion from $1.26 billion.
Net loss per diluted share was 2 cents for the year compared with earnings per diluted share of 70 cents in 2016.
The release noted the company paid $1.3 million for “substantially all of the assets” of E.A. Sherman Publishing Co., the former publisher of The Newport Daily News, The Independent, Newport Mercury, and South County Life and Newport Life magazines.
The company also reported it paid $120 million for the acquisition of the assets of the Georgia-headquartered Morris Publishing Group.
The company reported a 15.7 percent increase of digital revenue in 2017 to $143.4 million. Total advertising revenue accounted for $684 million in 2017, compared with $684.9 million in 2016.
The company reported circulation revenue growth of $52.8 million year over year to $474.3 million in 2017.
New Media Investment Group finished the year with a strong quarter. The company reported net income of $26.4 million in the last three months of the year, compared with $14.5 million of net income one year prior.
“We are pleased with our strong results in the fourth quarter, especially the continued improvement to our organic same-store revenue trend,” said Michael E. Reed, New Media president and CEO, in a statement. “This was a result of strong performance from our stable and growing revenue areas, led by UpCurve, GateHouse Live and circulation revenue. We are further encouraged by the start to the first quarter this year, and expect our organic same-store revenue trend to continue to improve over our fourth-quarter results.”
The company reported $609.2 million in total liabilities at the end of 2017, including long-term debt, pensions and post-retirement benefits, and deferred income taxes. The company reported total assets of $1.28 billion at the end of 2017, compared with $1.34 billion at the end of 2016.
Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.