A.H. Belo revenue flat for 2Q, earnings boosted by one-time gain
PROVIDENCE JOURNAL parent A.H. Belo Corp. reported that revenue remained flat in the second quarter compared with the previous year, as net income was boosted by a significant gain based on the sale of Apartments.com. Last week, A.H. Belo announced it would sell the Journal to GateHouse Media affiliate New Media Investment Group Inc. for $46 million.
As a result of the gain, realized when Classified Ventures, of which A.H. Belo is a 3.3 percent owner, sold the website, the company recorded earnings of 95 cents per diluted share, compared with 5 cents per diluted share in the second quarter of 2013.
Net operating revenue remained roughly unchanged in the second quarter, rising two-tenths of a percent to $69.3 million from $69.1 million in the second quarter of 2013. The slight increase was due mainly to a 37.9 percent increase in printing and distribution revenue, which offset a 4.7 percent decline in advertising and marketing services income.
Printing and distribution revenue totaled $7.8 million for the three months ended June 30, while advertising revenue totaled $40.3 million. The printing and distribution growth included the impact of a previously announced contract to print the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Within A.H. Belo’s advertising and marketing segment, digital revenue increased 4 percent year over year, but the growth was offset by continued declines in display, preprint and classified advertising revenues, which decreased 7 percent, 5 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
Circulation revenue remained flat at $21.2 million in the second quarter to $21.3 million.
In addition, the company reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization from continuing operations of $5.96 million, largely unchanged from the company’s reported EBITDA of $6 million for the same three months last year.
Due to the impending sale of the Providence Journal, A.H. Belo reported the Journal’s operations as “discontinued operations” in the second-quarter financial statement. Total A.H. Belo gains from discontinued operations in the second quarter totaled $2.3 million. It was not clear whether those gains included other discontinued operations aside from the Providence Journal.
Chairman, President and CEO James M. Moroney III said the company is “pleased to have agreed to sell the Providence Journal newspaper operations to New Media Investment Group, which represents an important additional step in executing our Dallas-based strategy.” The sale is expected to close in the third quarter.
The second quarter of 2014 represented the first time since the split of the company into freestanding newspaper and television entities in 2008 that A.H. Belo saw year-over-year quarterly growth in total revenue, Moroney added.