April 28, 2008
A. H. Belo Corporation Announces First Quarter 2008 Financial Results
DALLAS -- A. H. Belo Corporation (NYSE: AHC) reported first quarter revenues of $160.2 million, a net loss of $8.7 million or $0.43 per share and consolidated EBITDA of $2.9 million. The Company has not borrowed against its credit facility since it spun off from Belo Corp. and has no long term debt.
Robert W. Decherd, chairman, president and Chief Executive Officer, said, "A. H. Belo is navigating through a challenging operating environment, but I am confident about the quality of our markets long-term, the strengths of AHC's brands, and our ability to continue to transform AHC in an Internet-centric media world."
AHC is focused on leveraging its core newspapers and developing sustainable incremental revenues from niche products, the Internet, and business partnerships and various investments. The Company continues to align AHC's strategy to optimize use of its existing infrastructure. In recent months, The Dallas Morning News and The Press-Enterprise have secured contracts to print and/or distribute other newspapers including The New York Times, the Financial Times, the San Diego Union Tribune, and the Orange County Register.
AHC remains steadfast in managing expenses and has taken numerous measures to improve its cost structure. A letter to shareholders sent on April 21 by Robert Decherd, discussing AHC's strategy and current operations, can be accessed at www.ahbelo.com/invest.
First Quarter Highlights
Like other newspaper companies, AHC was affected by economic and operating pressures in the first quarter. The Dallas Morning News contributed over 64 percent of the Company's revenue in the quarter and did better than its peer group in revenue performance. Revenue declines in Providence were in line with industry trends while Riverside's revenue performance was weaker.
Total revenue decreased 8.8 percent in the first quarter versus the prior year. Advertising revenue, including print and Internet revenue, was down 12 percent. Advertising revenue, including print and Internet revenue, declined 26 percent at The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, California one of the hardest-hit real estate markets in the nation. The Press-Enterprise's performance had a significant impact on the Company's total revenue.
AHC had over $12 million in Internet revenue in the first quarter, which accounted for 7.5 percent of AHC's total revenues. Circulation revenue increases of 12 percent at The Dallas Morning News contributed to AHC's overall increase in circulation revenue of 5.4 percent for the quarter.
In the first quarter, total newspaper expense decreased by $5.3 million or 3.5 percent over the same period last year. This decrease included a $2.9 million drop in newsprint expense versus the prior year, with approximately $0.6 million of the decline resulting from a lower average cost per ton and approximately $2.3 million from lower consumption.
The aggregate newspaper EBITDA margin was 9.0 percent in the first quarter, down 5 percentage points from the first quarter of 2007.
Corporate expenses were flat versus the same period last year. The 2007 corporate expenses are based on an estimate of allocated amounts since AHC did not become a separate company until February 8, 2008. AHC's historical financial information reflects allocations for services historically provided by Belo Corp., and these allocated costs may be different from the actual costs AHC will incur for these services in the future as a separate public company, including with respect to actual services provided to AHC by Belo Corp. under a services agreement and other agreements. In some instances, the costs incurred for these services as a separate public company may be higher than the share of total Belo Corp. expenses allocated to AHC historically. Corporate expenses for the full month of January 2008 and the first eight days of February 2008 are also based on an estimate of allocated calculations. Beginning February 9, 2008, corporate expenses reflect actual experience.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Reconciliations of consolidated and newspaper EBITDA to net loss are included as exhibits to this release.
AHC is only providing general financial guidance due to the volatile U.S. economic environment. Weak economic trends suggest that the Company is likely to see a decline in advertising revenue throughout 2008. A principal driver of this revenue decline will likely continue to be The Press-Enterprise.
The Company is discontinuing "bonus days" and additional third party circulation to eliminate non-value-added circulation and reduce newsprint expense. The Company may be subject to additional newsprint price increases during 2008. AHC will complete its web width reduction project in early 2009, which reduces newsprint consumption going forward.
Financial Results Conference Call
AHC will conduct a conference call today at 1:00 p.m. CDT to discuss financial and strategic results. The conference call will be available via Webcast by accessing the Company's Web site (www.ahbelo.com/invest) or by dialing 800-288-8974 (USA) or 612-332-0418 (International). A replay line will be available at 800-475-6701 (USA) or 320-365-3844 (International) from 3:00 p.m. CDT on April 28 until 11:59 p.m. CDT on May 5, 2008. The access code for the replay is 918362.
About A. H. Belo Corporation
A. H. Belo Corporation (NYSE: AHC) headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a distinguished news and information company that owns and operates four daily newspapers and 12 associated Web sites. A. H. Belo publishes The Dallas Morning News, Texas' leading newspaper and winner of eight Pulitzer Prizes since 1986; The Providence Journal, the oldest continuously-published daily newspaper in the U.S. and winner of four Pulitzer Prizes; The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA), serving southern California's Inland Empire region and winner of one Pulitzer Prize; and the Denton Record-Chronicle. The Company publishes various specialty publications targeting niche audiences, young adults and the fast-growing Hispanic market. A. H. Belo also owns direct mail and commercial printing businesses. Additional information is available at www.ahbelo.com or by contacting Maribel Correa, director/Investor Relations, at 214-977-2702.
Statements in this communication concerning A. H. Belo Corporation's ("the Company's") business outlook or future economic performance, anticipated profitability, revenues, expenses, dividends, capital expenditures, investments, future financings, and other financial and non-financial items that are not historical facts, are "forward-looking statements" as the term is defined under applicable federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those statements.
Such risks, uncertainties and factors include, but are not limited to, changes in capital market conditions and prospects, and other factors such as changes in advertising demand, interest rates, and newsprint prices; newspaper circulation matters, including changes in readership patterns and demography, and audits and related actions by the Audit Bureau of Circulations; circulation trends; technological changes; development of Internet commerce; industry cycles; changes in pricing or other actions by competitors and suppliers; regulatory, tax and legal changes; adoption of new accounting standards or changes in existing accounting standards by the Financial Accounting Standards Board or other accounting standard-setting bodies or authorities; the effects of Company acquisitions, dispositions, co-owned ventures, and investments; general economic conditions; significant armed conflict; and other factors beyond our control, as well as other risks described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and other public disclosures and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's information statement on Form 10 dated January 31, 2008.View Exhibits