Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Torstar profit rises, but revenue weakening

Torstar Corp. booked higher profit in the third quarter, but warned on Wednesday that the advertising environment is weakening as concern over the health of the economy grows among ad buyers. The publisher of the Toronto Star, the country’s largest newspaper by print circulation, also saw digital revenues rise sharply in the period, with funds from online and mobile efforts now comprising more than 10% of Torstar’s top line excluding romance novel unit Harlequin. Analysts at RBC Capital Markets said the quarter was in line with expectations, with a “relatively stable” performance at the company’s media divisions, which include the Star as well as Ontario community newspaper group Metroland. Print advertising was down 6% at the Star media group and flat at Metroland. The units accounted for 70% of $378-million in quarterly revenue.

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