July 28, 2010 / 10:59 AM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 2-Torstar posts profit, says newsprint pricing may hurt

* Q2 EPS C$0.29 vs loss of C$0.06 yr ago

* Rev C$376.5 mln vs C$373.7 mln yr ago

* Cautious outlook on newspapers, digital rev (Adds details)

July 28 (Reuters) - Canadian publisher Torstar Corp (TSb.TO) posted a second-quarter profit on Wednesday, helped by strength at its newspapers and digital segment, but said it continues to be cautious on the segment’s revenue outlook.

The impact of newsprint pricing is expected to be slightly negative in the second half of 2010, the company said.

“At Harlequin, we anticipate another good year operationally but the anticipated improvement in earnings is likely to be offset by the negative impact of the strong Canadian dollar on results,” the company said.

The publisher of the Toronto Star — Canada’s biggest daily newspaper — said continued softness of the retail and employment advertising categories suggests that the strength of the economic recovery is still in question.

The company reported net income of C$22.7 million ($21.93 million), or 29 Canadian cents a share, compared with a loss of C$4.4 million, or 6 Canadian cents a share, a year ago.

The latest results included restructuring and other charges of C$4.8 million, the company said.

Revenue at Torstar — which also owns daily and community newspapers, the Workopolis website and publishes romance novels under the Harlequin banner — rose marginally to C$376.5 million from C$373.7 million a year ago.

    Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 41 Canadian cents a share, on revenue of C$370.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

    Newspapers and digital segment revenue rose 4 percent to C$258.7 million in the quarter.

    Torstar recently lost a bid to buy the newspaper division of Canwest Global Communications Corp CGS.V, which includes titles like the National Post and Vancouver Sun.

    Torstar, one of the three biggest members of Canadian Press, is expected to help recapitalize the news agency when it restructures from a co-operative into a for-profit company later this year.

    Torstar shares closed at C$10.32 Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. ($1=1.035 Canadian Dollar) (Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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