Television and radio broadcaster Corus Entertainment Inc. lost $752.3 million in its latest quarter as it took a one-time impairment charge related its to broadcast licenses and goodwill.
The media company, which includes Global Television, says the loss amounted to $3.61 per diluted share for the quarter ended May 31 compared with a profit of $66.4 million or 31 cents per share in the same quarter a year earlier.
Corus chief executive Doug Murphy said Friday the quarter saw increased viewership and engagement across all of the company’s platforms.
However, the increased viewership didn’t translate into advertising dollars due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced non-essential businesses to close for much of the quarter.
“With the economy materially impacted by the COVID pandemic, these audiences were not optimally monetized as advertising demand is tightly correlated to sales and economic activity,” Murphy said.
Revenue totalled nearly $349 million in what was the company’s third quarter, down from $458.4 million a year earlier, as advertising revenue plunged amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Advertising revenue totalled $207.9 million, down from $314.2 million in the same quarter last year.
However, the lost revenue was partially offset by about $17 million from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, or CEWS, which reduced the company’s employment cost for the quarter.
“We’re extremely grateful to the government for quickly recognizing the need for emergency relief during this period of uncertainty and acting quickly to put this program in place,” chief financial officer John Gossling told analysts on a conference call.
The most recent quarter included $786.8 million in broadcast licence and goodwill impairment charges and $2.6 million in integration, restructuring and other costs.
The goodwill impairment charges were triggered by a significant decline in the company’s stock price since Aug. 31, 2019, when its 2019 financial year ended.
Excluding those charges, Corus says its adjusted profit for the quarter amounted to nearly $19 million or nine cents per share, down from $66.1 million or 31 cents per share a year ago.
The average analyst estimate had been for an adjusted profit of 15 cents per share and $377 million in revenue, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.
Corus shares fell to their lowest level in a month after the results were released. They closed down nearly 17 per cent mid-afternoon, after dropping 58 cents to $2.92 at the Toronto Stock Exchange.
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