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(Tibor Kolley/Tibor Kolley/The Globe and Mail)
(Tibor Kolley/Tibor Kolley/The Globe and Mail)

Transcontinental quarterly profit flat Add to ...

Canadian printing and media company Transcontinental Inc. said Wednesday its net earnings were unchanged at $27.9-million in the first quarter despite a 4-per-cent increase in revenue.

The Montreal-based company earned 32 cents per share for the period ended Jan. 31, the same as a year ago when it absorbed a 2 cents per share loss from discontinued operations.

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Transcontinental paid $1.7-million in dividends on preferred shares in the first quarter of 2011, reducing its net income applicable to participating shares to $26.2-million.

Excluding impairment of assets and restructuring costs, adjusted profit increased by 10 per cent to $29.9-million from $27.1-million a year earlier.

Adjusted operating income increased 5 per cent to $49.8-million, from $47.3-million as revenue, representing the seventh consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth.

Transcontinental said its revenue increased 4 per cent to $530.1-million, due to new printing contracts.

Organic revenue grew by 3 per cent excluding factors such as acquisitions, closures, the exchange rate and newsprint costs.

Chief executive officer François Olivier said the organic revenue growth reflected Transcontinental's strategy of strengthening its existing assets and developing new digital products and services.

Free cash flow from operations increased nine per cent to $70.2-million and capital expenditures decreased to $20.7-million from $62.7-million.

Transcontinental is the largest printer in Canada and Mexico, and fourth-largest in North America. It also publishes daily and community newspapers, magazines and offers content through more than 250 websites.

It has 10,500 employees in Canada, the United States and Mexico, and reported revenue of $2.1-billion in 2010.

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