Torstar re­ports $7-mil­lion Q2 loss

The Hamilton Spectator - - BUSINESS - CRAIG WONG

Torstar Corp. re­ported a smaller sec­ond-quar­ter loss com­pared with a year ago as it saw im­proved re­sults from its dig­i­tal me­dia com­pany Ver­ti­calS­cope.

The publisher of the Toronto Star, The Hamil­ton Spec­ta­tor, Water­loo Re­gion Record and com­mu­nity news­pa­pers like The Burling­ton Post and The Stoney Creek News, said it lost $7 mil­lion or nine cents per share in the three months end­ing June 30 com­pared with a loss of $23.9 mil­lion or 30 cents per share a year ago.

Op­er­at­ing rev­enue to­talled $161.8 mil­lion for what was the com­pany’s lat­est quar­ter, down from $177.9 mil­lion a year ear­lier.

Torstar chief ex­ec­u­tive John Boyn­ton said Ver­ti­calS­cope posted strong year-over-year growth in rev­enue, while the com­pany’s Metroland Me­dia Group, which in­cludes the Spec­ta­tor, and Star Me­dia Group ben­e­fited from ef­forts to re­duce costs.

“We’re fac­ing con­tin­ued head­winds but we con­tinue to make great progress,” Boyn­ton said dur­ing a Wed­nes­day con­fer­ence call with fi­nan­cial an­a­lysts.

Torstar holds a 56 per cent stake in Ver­ti­calS­cope, which owns and op­er­ates hun­dreds of on­line fo­rums and web­sites in­clud­ing Au­toGuide.com, PetGuide.com, Mo­tor­cy­cle.com and ATV.com. In its out­look, the com­pany said cost re­duc­tion will re­main an im­por­tant area of fo­cus for the bal­ance of the year. Rev­enue growth at Ver­ti­calS­cope is also ex­pected to con­tinue in the sec­ond half of 2017.

Torstar said its most re­cent quar­ter in­cluded $6.1 mil­lion in re­struc­tur­ing charges.

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