Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Quebecor's TVA Group takes a mag bath

On its surface the February 13 press release seems to say that things are tight, but still OK for the TVA Group, the largest publisher of French language magazines in Canada. The company is the highly diversified media arm of Quebecor, with interests in television (it owns SUN TV) film and publishing of both the traditional and web kind. The company (TVA.NV.B) announced net income for the fourth quarter of 2005 of $8.7 million compared with $17.4 million in the same quarter of 2004.

Pierre Dion, President and CEO, said: "The fierce competition that is prevailing in Quebec's magazine publishing market and our desire to protect our market shares resulted in an operating loss for this sector during the quarter. We are making every effort to alleviate the impact of this competition, while sticking with our strategy. "

A friend points out that, while it is sometimes difficult to parse results for large, publicly held companies, the release reveals in a footnote the actual performance of the publishing division-- not only a $7.6 million reversal for the company for the quarter, but also a drop of $15.4 million in profit for the full year.

Put another way, its publishing division has gone from making $15.6 million in 2004 to barely breaking even in 2005, on essentially flat revenue.

Q4 (2005)

Q4 (2004)

Year 2005

Year 2004

Revenue

19,625

19,702

77,129

76,268

Expenses

24,330

16,735

76,856

60,617

Op. Income

(4,705)

2,967

273

15,651


TVA publishes about 45 titles, including Echos Vedette, Clin d'oeil, 7 Jours, tv Hebdo, Renovations chez-soi, Femme, Lundi, and Star Inc.

UPDATE: For another perspective, here is Mastheadonline's take on the reasons behind TVA's losses.

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