Morris Publishing Announces 2006 Third Quarter Results
AUGUSTA, Ga., Nov. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Morris Publishing Group, LLC today reported third quarter operating income of $20.4 million, down $3.4 million, or 14.4%, from $23.8 million for the same period in 2005. Net income for the quarter was $6.9 million, down $1.6 million from $8.5 million in the prior year. Total operating revenue for the third quarter was $117.4 million, up $3.7 million, or 3.2%, from $113.7 million in the same quarter last year. Total advertising revenue was $96.4 million, up $4.1 million, or 4.4%, from $92.3 million last year, with retail advertising revenue of $47.7 million, up 3.1%, classified advertising revenue of $43.0 million, up 6.5%, and national advertising revenue of $5.7 million, up 0.2%. Circulation revenue was $17.3 million, down $0.2 million, or 1.4%, continuing its trend. For the third quarter, total operating expense was $97.1 million, up $1.8 million, or 1.9%, from $95.3 million last year, with employee costs of $43.9 million, down 2.0%, newsprint, ink and supplements costs of $14.8 million, up 6.3%, and other operating costs of $32.9 million, up 5.7%. Depreciation and amortization expense was $5.5 million, up slightly from the same period last year. During the third quarter of 2005, the company sold Savannah's former production facility for $7.2 million, net of closing costs, resulting in a $5.0 million pre-tax gain. Excluding this gain, operating income for the quarter was up $1.6 million, or 8.6%. Commenting on the results, William S. Morris IV, Morris Publishing Group's chief executive officer and president, said, "On the strength of Jacksonville's retail advertising gains this quarter, our results were good. We are doing a good job of managing our expenses and we continue to benefit from gains in the classified advertising revenue category at most of our newspapers." For the first nine months of 2006, operating income was $63.0 million, up $2.4 million, or 4.0%, from $60.6 million last year. Total net operating revenue was $351.6 million, up $7.5 million, or 2.2%, and total operating costs were $288.7 million, down slightly from last year. Net income for the first nine months of 2006 was $22.0 million, up $1.3 million from the same period last year. Morris Publishing Group, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Morris Communications Company, LLC, a privately held media company based in Augusta, Ga. Morris Publishing owns and operates 27 daily newspapers as well as nondaily newspapers, city magazines and free community publications in the Southeast, Midwest, Southwest and Alaska. For more information, visit our Web site, morris.com. A conference call will be held Thursday, November 9, 2006, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. In order to participate, please call 1-888-928-9177 ten (10) minutes prior to the scheduled start. The pass code and leader's name listed below will be required to join the conference call: LEADER: MR. STEVE STONE PASS CODE: MORRIS PUBLI To access the Audio Replay of this call, all parties can: 1. Go to the URL: https://e-meetings.mci.com 2. Choose Audio Streaming under Join Events 3. Enter the conference number: 9000692 4. Enter the pass code: MORRIS PUBLI Replays of the conference call are available for 30 days after the live event at the URL link. Third-quarter results follow: Morris Publishing Group, LLC Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income Three months Nine months ended ended (Dollars in thousands) September 30, September 30, 2006 2005 2006 2005 NET OPERATING REVENUES: Advertising $96,415 $92,349 $287,776 $278,814 Circulation 17,310 17,551 52,113 53,074 Other 3,722 3,871 11,750 12,212 Total net operating revenues 117,447 113,771 351,639 344,100 OPERATING EXPENSES: Labor and employee benefits 43,894 44,790 131,326 134,109 Newsprint, ink and supplements 14,813 13,938 44,502 42,387 Other operating costs (excluding depreciation and amortization) 32,918 31,145 96,962 95,872 Depreciation and amortization 5,458 5,427 15,933 16,504 Total operating expenses 97,083 95,300 288,723 288,872 Net pre-tax gain on sale of fixed assets (24) (5,337) (41) (5,335) Total operating expenses, net of pre-tax gains 97,059 89,963 288,682 283,537 Operating income 20,388 23,808 62,957 60,563 OTHER EXPENSE (INCOME): Interest expense, including amortization of debt issuance costs 9,389 9,075 27,560 26,457 Interest income (1) 604 (69) (48) Other, net (62) 1 (119) 19 Total other expenses, net 9,326 9,680 27,372 26,428 INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES 11,062 14,128 35,585 34,135 PROVISION FOR INCOME TAXES 4,154 5,591 13,619 13,514 NET INCOME $6,908 $8,537 $21,966 $20,621
SOURCE Morris Communications Company, LLC
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