Torstar Corporation Reports Third Quarter Results

Torstar Corporation (TSX:TS.B) today reported financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018.

Highlights for the third quarter:
• We continue to make progress on the transformation of our business. On September 27, 2018, we launched our digital subscription offerings on thestar.com. The launch of digital subscriptions is a significant step in our transformation anchored around high quality, in-depth local, and investigative journalism. On September 20, 2018, we also introduced user registrations on yorkregion.com, simcoe.com and toronto.com within the Community Brands segment to add value to our audiences through the enhanced collection and use of data as we continue to make investments in hyper-local content. We also continue to make progress in key areas such as data infrastructure, advanced analytics capabilities and customer life cycle management capabilities.
• During the quarter, we bolstered our national digital expansion with the launch of the thestar.com’s mobile application in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Halifax.
• Subsequent to the end of the quarter, we acquired the assets of iPolitics, a digital political news outlet based in Ottawa that provides extensive digital online coverage of federal and provincial politics. The purchase of iPolitics complements the political coverage by the Toronto Star’s Ottawa and Queen’s Park bureaus and we have included some iPolitics content as part of our basic digital subscription offering on thestar.com.
• On September 27, 2018, we received approval from the members of our eight registered defined benefit pension plans (the “Torstar Plans”) to proceed with the merger of the Torstar Plans with the Colleges of Applied Arts & Technology Pension Plan (the “CAAT Plan”) effective October 1, 2018, with Torstar and certain of its subsidiaries becoming participating employers under the CAAT Plan. The merger remains subject to the consent of the Superintendent of Financial Services (Ontario), which is not expected to occur prior to the second half of 2019.
• During the third quarter, we sold our portfolio investment in Kanetix Ltd. for cash proceeds of $5.6 million and recorded a gain before tax of $2.6 million in other comprehensive income.
• We ended the third quarter of 2018 with $48.4 million of cash and cash equivalents and $7.7 million of restricted cash; Torstar has no bank indebtedness.
• Our net loss attributable to equity shareholders was $18.8 million ($0.23 per share) in the third quarter of 2018. This compares to a net loss of $6.6 million ($0.08 per share) in the third quarter of 2017.
• Adjusted loss per share was $0.22 in the third quarter of 2018. This compares to an adjusted loss per share of $0.08 in the third quarter of 2017.
• Our segmented adjusted EBITDA was $1.4 million in the third quarter of 2018, down $9.8 million from the third quarter of 2017. Segmented adjusted EBITDA loss in the Daily Brands segment was $3.9 million in the third quarter, compared to adjusted EBITDA of $1.1 million in the third quarter of 2017. Segmented adjusted EBITDA in the Community Brands segment was $2.2 million, down $3.4 million relative to the comparable period in 2017 while segmented adjusted EBITDA in the Digital Ventures segment was $5.7 million, down $1.5 million relative to the third quarter of 2017, $0.4 million of which was related to the sale of Workopolis in early April.
• Segmented revenue was $143.2 million in the third quarter of 2018, down $21.4 million (13%) from $164.6 million in the third quarter of 2017 and included revenue growth of $0.8 million or 7% (3% growth in USD) from VerticalScope. On a same store basis, segmented revenue was down $11.4 million (8%) in the third quarter of 2018.
more detail at: https://www.torstar.com/images/file/2018/Q3/2018%20Q3%20FS%20Press%20Release%20r42%20FINAL.pdf

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