UPDATE 2-Torstar profit plunges as advertisers abandon, outlook weak

Wed Mar 6, 2013 10:20am EST
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* Publisher of Canada's largest daily newspaper cuts 67 jobs

* Fourth-qtr earnings C$0.30 versus C$0.81 a year earlier

* Revenue falls 7 pct, company could delay dividend increase

* Shares plummet 9 pct in early trading

TORONTO, March 6 (Reuters) - Torstar Corp, publisher of the Toronto Star, Canada's largest daily newspaper, cut 67 jobs and said it would rein in costs in 2013 as the revenue outlook from its main media business remained uncertain.

Its profit and revenue slips in the fourth quarter were worse than anticipated by analysts, and the company warned of continued tough times ahead. Its shares fell almost 9 percent in early trading.

Torstar, like many publishers in North America, has struggled with declining print advertising. It has been investing to create digital content as more readers move online, while also aggressively cutting jobs.

"Costs continue to be an area of emphasis as we resize the cost base in response to the pressures on ad revenue," David Holland, Torstar's chief executive, said on a call with analysts.

He said the company expects to save C$6.6 million a year in labor costs once the job cuts are fully implemented, while early indications point to more print advertising weakness in 2013.   Continued...