Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Wash Post Co. Profits Down 15.7% on Plunging Newspaper Income

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Wash Post Co. Profits Down 15.7% on Plunging Newspaper Income

Article excerpt

A big drop in newspaper operating income hammered earnings in the first quarter of 2007, the Washington Post Co. reported Friday, even though online revenue climbed again.

Washington Post reported a first-quarter net income of $64.4 million , or $6.70 a share, a 15.7% drop from the year-ago period's net income of $76.9 million , or $7.95 a share.

Revenue for the first quarter of 2007, ended April 1, was $985.6 million, up 4% from $948.3 million in 2006.

Overall revenue grew on strength in the education and cable television divisions, offsetting revenue decreases in its newspaper publishing, magazine publishing and television broadcasting divisions.

Operating income for the quarter plunged 33% to $92.0 million, from $137.8 million a year ago, Washington Post said. Operating results were down at each of its operating divisions, except the cable television division, which reported improved results for the quarter.

Newspaper revenue dropped 10% in the quarter to $219.2 million from $243.5 million for the first quarter of 2006. Newspaper division operating income plunged 53% to $14.9 million, from $32.0 million a year ago.

Print advertising revenue at newspapers fell 16% to $125.1 million, from $149.8 million in 2006.

"This decline is due to advertising revenue reductions in real estate, which was a very strong category in the first quarter of 2006, along with declines in classified recruitment, retail and zones," the company said. "These declines were offset by an increase in preprint revenues. …

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