August 1, 2012 / 11:39 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Torstar profit falls on weak advertising

August 1 (Reuters) - Canadian publisher Torstar Corp reported a 68 percent fall in second-quarter profit citing weak spending by advertisers.

Torstar -- publisher of the Toronto Star, Canada’s biggest daily newspaper -- has been increasing its investment in digital initiatives as the outlook for the print advertising market darkens.

“Our media results were not immune from the soft advertising environment,” CEO David Holland said in a statement.

The company reported a decline in print advertising revenue for the Toronto Star and Metroland Media Group newspapers, but revenue for the Metro newspapers rose.

Torstar -- which also publishes romance novels under the Harlequin banner -- said it expects a decline in second half results at Harlequin as it pays higher royalties to authors for digital sales.

Net income attributable to equity shareholders fell to C$35.7 million, or 44 Canadian cents per share, in the April-June quarter, from C$112.7 million, or C$1.41 per share, a year earlier when the company recorded a C$74.6 million gain related to the sale of its stake in CTV Inc.

Operating revenue fell 2 percent to C$383.9 million.

Excluding items , the company earned 48 Canadian cents per share.

Shares of the Toronto-based company, which has a market value of $633.9 million, closed at C$9.10 on Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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