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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:37 pm
 


Title: Torstar print ads fall
Category: Business
Posted By: N_Fiddledog
Date: 2017-11-01 12:08:48
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:37 pm
 


https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/report ... dmail.com&


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:39 pm
 


"Torstar Corp.'s national and local print advertising continued to fall in the third quarter but cost-cutting efforts have been successful in maintaining the company's cash balances and dividend at an acceptable level, executives said Wednesday.

But they also said cost reduction will remain a important area of focus with no end in sight for a years-long decline in print advertising revenue at Torstar's flagship Toronto Star newspaper and its Metroland Media Group.

Torstar chief executive John Boynton told analysts on a conference call that he sees cost-cutting as essential to preserving cash flow that's required to fuel a transformation of the company's core business.

"In the balance of 2017, we expect to benefit from $3-million in cost-savings related to restructuring and outsourcing initiatives, already undertaken to date, and we expect these cost reductions to offset print ad revenue trends which we expect (will) continue to be challenging," Boynton said.

However, Torstar's unrestricted cash and cash equivalents was down to $51.4-million at Sept. 30, from $75.4-million at the end of December, leading analysts to ask whether Torstar's dividend was under review."


Quote:
"We'll keep looking at the dividend and everything's on the table, but we don't have any changes so far that are required at this time," Boynton said.

"We're still comfortable with our cash position, the amount of cash we need to fuel our transformation."

Chief financial officer Lorenz DeMarchi added that the drain on cash flow is expected to be lighter than in the first half of 2017, when severance and pension expenses were heavy.

As of Sept. 30, Torstar had cut about 220 positions. It expects $12.1-million of savings from the cuts in calendar 2017 and $5-million in 2018.

Executives also noted that Torstar has no bank debt and its unrestricted cash doesn't include its share of cash at VerticalScope or $9.1-million of restricted cash pledged as collateral to standby letters of credit.


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