Postmedia Q4 profit rises to $13.5 million despite lower revenue

Subsidy boosts Postmedia

The owner of Canada's largest group of newspapers reports it had a $13.5-million profit in its fourth quarter ended Aug. 31, which it attributed to cost cutting and assistance from government wage subsidies.

Postmedia Network Canada Corp. says its net income for the quarter was equal to 14 cents per share, up from $7.9 million or eight cents per share a year earlier, despite a 27.8 per cent decline in revenue from advertising, print circulation and digital services.

Among the factors offsetting the revenue decline was money from a federal wage subsidy program that helps employers affected by a loss of business due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Postmedia says it recognized a $21 million recovery for the quarter from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, a general COVID-relief program, which partially reduced what it's eligible to recover from federal and Quebec programs for subsidizing the labour cost of journalists.

Overall revenue dropped to $105.2 million, down from $145.6 million a year earlier. Most of the decline was from $22.1 million less in print advertising revenue and $10.7 million less in digital revenue, which includes digital advertising.

Among Postmedia's holdings is the National Post newspaper, local daily newspapers in several large cities, a number of newspapers published less frequently in smaller communities and online versions of its publications.

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