Gannett Executives Speak at Mid-Year Media Review
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Gannett executives today reported on the company’s performance in the first half of 2001 and the outlook for the remainder of the year at the Mid-Year Media Review held here this week.
Douglas H. McCorkindale, Chairman, President and CEO, commented that there are “a number of positives that continue to set Gannett’s performance apart from the rest of the industry. Despite lower year-over-year earnings to date, our strong financial discipline, tight cost controls and seasoned, solid managers allowed us to have the best relative earnings performance in our industry.”
In his speech, McCorkindale commented that the company expects to end the second quarter with diluted earnings per share from continuing operations “in the range of most analysts’ estimates,” or between 86 cents and 90 cents per share, barring any significant further deterioration in advertising in June. “This range would imply after tax cash flow per share of $1.26 to $1.30.”
“Our toughest year-over-year comparisons for our newspapers are behind us,” McCorkindale said. Also, Newsquest, the company’s operation in the United Kingdom, remains a bright spot with pro forma ad revenues up about 9 per cent and operating profit up almost 18 per cent over the comparable period in the prior year. In the U.S., McCorkindale noted the company expects to generate about $70 million in Internet revenues in 2001, with a modest loss.”
On the outlook for the remainder of the year, McCorkindale urged caution, saying “We do not have good visibility on what the second half of 2001 will bring.”
Gary Watson, President of the Newspaper Division, commented on the difficult advertising environment, particularly with classified. But he went on to say the operating results from the Thomson and Central acquisitions are ahead of last year and, in the case of Central, substantially ahead.
Tom Curley, President and Publisher of USA TODAY, said the first half is ending better than it began, with May appearing to be the turning point. Circulation gains continue and comparisons also are easier in the second half, he said.
Curley said successful efforts at convergence among print, dotcom and television at USA TODAY will be expanded outside of Gannett shortly.
Craig Dubow, President of Gannett Broadcasting, reported on the strong standings of Gannett-owned stations in their markets. Dubow noted the difficult comparisons for our TV stations in the second half and the slowness in completing the “upfront” ad purchases this year. “There remains a great deal of uncertainty in what clients will be spending.”
Gannett Co., Inc. is an international news and information company that publishes 98 daily newspapers in the USA, including USA TODAY, the nation’s largest-selling daily newspaper. The company also owns in excess of 300 non-daily publications in the USA and USA WEEKEND, a weekly newspaper magazine. In the United Kingdom, Gannett subsidiary Newsquest plc publishes nearly 300 titles, including 15 daily newspapers. Gannett also operates 22 television stations in the United States and is an Internet leader with sites sponsored by most of its TV stations and newspapers including USATODAY.com, one of the most popular news sites on the Web.
Certain statements in this press release may be forward looking in nature or “forward looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward looking statements contained in this press release are subject to a number of risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual performance to differ materially from these forward looking statements. A number of those risks, trends and uncertainties are discussed in the company’s SEC reports, including the company’s annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. Any forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated in light of these important risk factors.
Gannett is not responsible for updating the information contained in this press release beyond the published date, or for changes made to this press release by wire services, Internet service providers or other media.
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