TORONTO — The company that publishes the National Post and other major Canadian newspapers says its operating loss declined in its fiscal fourth quarter, although that was more than offset by the impact of a weaker Canadian dollar.
Postmedia Network Canada Corp. says it had a $54.1 million net loss in the three months ended Aug. 31, compared with $49.8 million in the fourth quarter of its 2014 financial year.
The increase was related to non-cash losses on financial derivatives and currency exchange, both related to the value of Postmedia's U.S.-dollar denominated debt.
Postmedia's operating loss was reduced to $5.7 million, however, down 80 per cent from $28.1 million a year earlier.
The company — which owns many of the former Southam papers including the Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette and Calgary Herald — said the acquisition of the rival Sun Media newspapers helped reduce fourth-quarter operating losses.
Revenue for the quarter was $230.2 million, including $96.4 million from the Sun Group. The total was up $56.8 million from the same time last year but would have been down $13 million or 8.8 per cent without the Sun Group.
For the full 2015 financial year ended Aug. 31, Postmedia had a $263.4 million loss — compared with a $107.5-million loss in fiscal 2014. Annual revenue was $750.3 million, up from $674.3 million in 2014. Excluding the Sun acquisition, Postmedia's revenue would have been down $77.6 million or 11.5 per cent.
“This has been a year of tremendous transformation at Postmedia,” Paul Godfrey, Postmedia's president and chief executive, said Thursday in a statement.
“Since the acquisition of our new Sun Media brands the integration process has accelerated within our expanded Postmedia team. While we continue to face the significant challenges to our traditional business model, the year ahead will see us leveraging our new scale and launching expanded product and service offerings to Canadian audiences and marketers.”
The financial report came out a day after Postmedia published the final digital editions of the Calgary Herald, Ottawa Citizen and Montreal Gazette.
"They're beautiful products and we're incredibly proud of how they look, but they didn't reach a critical mass of audience or advertisers," Postmedia spokeswoman Phyllise Gelfand said Wednesday in an interview.
Tablet readers will be redirected to Postmedia's news app, which was recently revamped. The updated version works on both smartphones and tablets.
Postmedia launched its first digital evening edition in May 2014 at the Citizen before expanding the project to other markets.
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