March 3, 2010 / 12:49 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 2-Torstar posts higher profit, stock rises

* Adj EPS C$0.76 vs est C$0.36

* Revenue C$394.8 mln vs est C$389 mln

* Remains cautious for 2010

* Shares climb 7.6 pct to C$7.80 (Adds details, stock price)

OTTAWA, March 3 (Reuters) - Canadian publisher Torstar Corp (TSb.TO) posted a higher quarterly profit on Wednesday, helped by cost cuts and strong results at its Harlequin book unit, but it said its outlook for 2010 remains cautious.

The publisher of Canada’s biggest daily newspaper, the Toronto Star, said it continues to be concerned by the economy’s impact on its newspaper operations, despite some recent signs of improvement.

It sees “stable results” at Harlequin after three years of growth.

The company’s shares rose 55 Canadian cents to C$7.80 in opening trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The company posted a net profit C$57.4 million ($55.7 million), or 73 Canadian cents a share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a net loss of C$213.9 million or C$2.71 a share, for the same period of 2008.

Adjusted to exclude C$2.3 million in impairment losses and investment writedowns, Torstar said it earned to C$59.7 million, or 76 Canadian cents a share.

That compares with profit of C$22.3 million, or 28 Canadian cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter, excluding C$236.2 million in comparable charges.

Revenue fell 4.3 percent to C$394.8 million

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 36 Canadian cents a share on revenue of C$389 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Closely watched EBITDA rose to C$69.6 million from C$61.3 million.

The company said net debt declined by C$37.5 million to C$515.8 million.

The company said in November it planned to cut editorial jobs at the Toronto Star, which had about 400 editorial staff at that time, and was asking staff to take voluntary severance packages. ($1=$1.03 Canadian) (Reporting by Susan Taylor, with additional reporting by Arnika Thakur in Bangalore; editing by Peter Galloway)

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