Restructuring Drives Quebecor Into the Red

19 February 2002

Montreal-headquartered media giant Quebecor, the world’s largest printing concern, has been thrust into the red by a major restructuring charge during its fiscal fourth quarter.

Quebecor reported a Q4 loss of C$185.8 million (C$2.88 a share), down year-on-year from a profit of C$730.6m (C$11.31 a share). This reflected a C$816.1m gain on dilution.

The group also warned that goodwill stemming from its C$5.4 billion acquisition of Quebec cable company Videotron might have to be written down by between C$1.5bn to C$2bn.

Operating income increased to C$540.6m from C$509.3m in the year-earlier period. Fourth-quarter sales improved 6.4% to C$3.14 billion from C$2.96 billion.

Hit by the current fall in adspend, printing revenues nudged downward to C$2.55bn from C$2.60bn, and operating income from printing operations fell to C$371.3m from C$449.4m.

Cable TV contributed quarterly revenues of C$180m and operating income of C$70.6m, up year-on-year from C$170.5m/C$58.2m.

Quebecor unit Sun Media Corporation, the number two player in Canada’s newspaper industry, recorded revenues down by C$221.5m from C$222.4m due to lower circulations, although operating income improved to C$68.3m from C$57.6m thanks to cost reductions and lower newsprint prices.

Data sourced from: Wall Street Journal; additional content by WARC staff