Gannett Reports Third Quarter Results

Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) (“Gannett” or “company” or “we” or “our”) today reported third quarter 2018 financial results for the period ended September 30, 2018 (1).

“We are pleased with the revenue growth and continued strong margin improvement in our ReachLocal segment reflecting the scale the business is achieving,” said Robert J. Dickey, president and chief executive officer. “Additionally, our recent WordStream acquisition delivered solid results in its first full reported quarter with revenues and Adjusted EBITDA both ahead of our expectations.”

Dickey continued, “Our Publishing segment digital advertising and marketing services revenue growth slowed in the quarter, reflecting challenges within the local digital media category, in part due to the realignment of our sales organization. We expect the weaker results to continue into the fourth quarter and are therefore lowering our full year revenue and Adjusted EBITDA guidance.”

“We remain focused on delivering growth in our digital business and rationalizing our cost base in light of the revenue challenges,” said Ali Engel, chief financial officer. “In the fourth quarter, we are instituting an early retirement program and have announced two outsourcing initiatives within customer service and technology. While it is too early to quantify the exact expected savings, we believe we will achieve a significant benefit to our overall cost structure from these initiatives in 2019.”

Third Quarter 2018 Consolidated Results (2)
• Operating revenues were $711.7 million, compared to $744.3 million in the third quarter of 2017.
• Unfavorable changes in foreign currency exchange rates negatively impacted revenues by $2.4 million.
• Same store, day adjusted operating revenues declined 8.1% year-over-year.
• Total digital revenues increased 8.4% to $266.1 million, or approximately 37% of total revenue.
• Total digital advertising & marketing services revenues increased 7.7% to $199.4 million, or 49.4% of total advertising & marketing services revenues.
• GAAP net income was $13.4 million, including $14.3 million of after-tax restructuring, asset impairment charges and other costs.
• Adjusted EBITDA (3) totaled $70.1 million, compared to $73.9 million in the third quarter of 2017. Strong earnings growth at our ReachLocal segment was offset by higher newsprint expense and lower revenues within our Publishing segment.

Third Quarter 2018 Publishing Segment
• Publishing segment operating revenues were $616.4 million, compared to $660.3 million in the third quarter of 2017. On a same store, day adjusted basis, Publishing segment revenues declined 9.4%.
• Same store, day adjusted print advertising revenues for the quarter declined 20.3% year-over-year.
• Digital advertising & marketing services revenues increased 3.2% to $105.8 million, compared to the prior year quarter. On a same store, day adjusted basis, digital advertising & marketing services revenues increased 0.8%.
◦ Digital marketing services revenues of $20.1 million rose 41.8%, on a same store, day adjusted basis, driven by higher client counts and higher average revenue per client.
◦ Digital media revenues of $67.5 million fell 1.7%, on a same store, day adjusted basis, as weakness in local display more than offset strong growth in national revenues.
◦ Digital classified revenues of $18.2 million fell 18.3%, on a same store, day adjusted basis, reflecting weakness across all categories.
• Same store, day adjusted circulation revenues fell 4.4% from the prior year quarter, better than the second quarter trend, reflecting the continued benefit from our full-access subscriber pricing initiatives, offset by expected revenue declines in single copy.
• Digital-only subscriber volumes grew 48.8% year-over-year and now total 472,000.
• Publishing segment Adjusted EBITDA was $72.7 million compared to $87.5 million in the prior year quarter.

Third Quarter 2018 ReachLocal Segment
• ReachLocal segment revenues were $109.6 million, up 16.8% year-over-year, despite a negative impact of $1.0 million from the fair value adjustment to WordStream’s deferred revenue obligations as required by U.S. GAAP as well as the divestiture of ReachLocal’s European operations. On a same store, day adjusted basis, ReachLocal segment revenues grew 7.7%.
• Adjusted EBITDA was $17.3 million, reflecting a 15.8% margin, up materially from only $5.2 million in the third quarter of 2017.
• The improved revenue and profitability in the quarter were driven by the addition of WordStream, higher average revenue per client and growth in our Gannett local and SweetIQ client bases.

Third Quarter 2018 Cash Flow
• Net cash flow from operating activities was approximately $60.9 million, compared to $34.1 million in the prior year quarter. The increase in net cash flow from operating activities primarily relates to the timing of pension contributions of $25.0 million in the second quarter of 2018, as compared to the third quarter of 2017.
• Capital expenditures were approximately $16.3 million, primarily for product development, technology investments, and maintenance projects.
• The company paid dividends of $18.1 million; there were no share repurchases.
• As of the end of the third quarter, the company had a cash balance of $108.6 million, $170.0 million drawn on its revolver and $168.0 million in convertible notes, or net debt of $229.4 million.
more detail at: https://investors.gannett.com/press-release/gannett-reports-third-quarter-results

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