UPDATE 1-Quebecor profit halves as media revenue falls

Wed May 8, 2013 7:25am EDT
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* First-quarter EPS C$0.53 vs est C$0.62

* Revenue down 1 pct to C$1.05 bln vs est $1.09 bln

* News media revenue falls 11 pct to C$207.6 mln

May 8 (Reuters) - Canadian media and telecommunications conglomerate Quebecor Inc's first-quarter profit halved due to higher costs, a sharp drop in media revenue and lower gains on financial instruments.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 53 Canadian cents per share, far below the 62 Canadian cents analysts had expected.

Net income attributable to shareholders fell to C$35.6 million, or 49 Canadian cents per share, from C$71.4 million, or C$1.12 per share, a year earlier.

Gains on valuation of financial instruments fell to C$7.7 million during the quarter compared with C$81.9 million a year earlier. The C$74.2 million fall was the single biggest drag on earnings during the quarter.

Quebecor, which operates Canada's largest newspaper chain that includes Calgary Sun, Toronto Sun and others, said revenue fell 1 percent to C$1.05 billion, reflecting a decline in all its businesses except the telecommunications unit.

Revenue from the telecommunications business, which accounts for over half of Quebecor's total, rose 4 percent to C$668.8 million, boosted by higher wireless subscriptions.   Continued...