SOURCE: Torstar Corporation

Torstar Corporation

November 01, 2017 06:30 ET

Torstar Corporation Reports Third Quarter Results

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - November 01, 2017) - Torstar Corporation (TSX: TS.B) today reported financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2017.

Highlights for the third quarter:

  • Ended the third quarter of 2017 with $51.4 million of cash and cash equivalents and $9.1 million of restricted cash; Torstar has no bank indebtedness.
  • Cash provided by operating activities was $9.7 million in the third quarter of 2017 reflecting a $7.8 million decrease in working capital combined with $1.9 million of cash generated by operating activities in the quarter.
  • Our net loss attributable to equity shareholders was $6.6 million ($0.08 per share) in the third quarter of 2017. This compares to a net income of $1.4 million ($0.02 per share) in the third quarter of 2016.
  • Adjusted loss per share was $0.08 in the third quarter of 2017, consistent with the third quarter of 2016. Adjusted loss per share in 2017 and 2016 included $0.19 and $0.30 per share effects, respectively, of amortization and depreciation.
  • Our segmented operating loss was $6.2 million in the third quarter of 2017 which included $15.0 million of non-cash amortization and depreciation expense as well as $1.7 million of restructuring and other charges.
  • Our segmented adjusted EBITDA was $11.2 million in the third quarter of 2017 down $1.9 million from the prior year. Segmented adjusted EBITDA in the Digital Ventures segment was $7.2 million in the quarter, down $0.9 million relative to the third quarter of 2016. In the newspaper operations, the segmented adjusted EBITDA at the Star Media Group was $0.1 million, an improvement of $0.8 million, while segmented adjusted EBITDA at the Metroland Media Group was $6.7 million, down $1.7 million in the quarter.
  • Segmented revenue was $164.6 million in the third quarter of 2017, down $17.1 million (9.4%) from $181.7 million in the third quarter of 2016 and included revenue growth of $0.5 million or 4.8% (8.8% growth in USD) from VerticalScope.

"Segmented adjusted EBITDA of $11.2 million was down $1.9 million in the third quarter and included $7.2 million from our Digital Ventures segment which continued to benefit from solid earnings at VerticalScope. Results at VerticalScope in the quarter were in line with expectations but were up against very strong earnings reported a year ago. At Metroland and the Star Media Group, we benefitted from continuing efforts on costs which partially offset the impact of challenges in the print advertising environment." said John Boynton, President and CEO of Torstar Corporation. "Looking forward, we expect earnings in the balance of the year to continue to benefit from growth at VerticalScope, helping to offset pressures on print advertising revenues in the newspaper operations. Transformation of our core brands remains our top priority and I am encouraged by the progress we are making."

The following chart provides a continuity of earnings per share from the third quarter and first nine months of 2016 to the third quarter and first nine months of 2017:

    Three months ended September 30  Nine months ended September 30  
       Adjusted     Adjusted  
    Earnings (Loss)  Earnings (Loss)  Earnings (Loss)  Earnings (Loss)  
    Per Share  Per Share**  Per Share  Per Share**  
Earnings (loss) per share from continuing operations attributable to equity shareholders in 2016 $0.01  ($0.08 )($0.95 )($0.62 )
Changes             
Adjusted EBITDA* (0.02 )(0.02 )0.03  0.03  
Amortization and depreciation* 0.11  0.11  0.68  0.68  
Operating earnings (loss)* 0.10  0.01  (0.24 )0.09  
Restructuring and other charges* 0.02     0.37     
Impairment of assets*       (0.04 )   
Operating profit (loss)* 0.12  0.01  0.09  0.09  
Interest and financing costs       0.01  0.01  
Non-cash foreign exchange 0.02     0.01     
Loss from associated businesses (excluding VerticalScope)(0.03)(0.03)(0.05
)(0.05
)
Other income (0.29 )   (0.30 )   
Change in current and future taxes (including associated businesses)0.10 (0.06)(0.24
)(0.36
)
Loss per share from continuing operations attributable to equity shareholders in 2017 ($0.08 )($0.08 )($0.48 )($0.31 )
Earnings per share from discontinued operations attributable to equity shareholders in 2017       $0.01     
Loss per share attributable to equity shareholders in 2017 ($0.08 )($0.08 )($0.47 )($0.31 )
* Includes proportionately consolidated share of joint venture and VerticalScope's operations. These include Non-IFRS or additional IFRS measures.
** Refer to discussion of "Non-IFRS measures" including definition of adjusted earnings (loss) per share.

OPERATING RESULTS -- THIRD QUARTER 2017

The following tables sets out, in $000's, the segmented results for the three months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016

Three months ended September 30, 2017  
                    Total Per  
                 Adjustments  Consolidated  
        Digital     Total  &  Statement of  
(in $000's) MMG  SMG  Ventures  Corporate  Segmented*  Eliminations1  Income (Loss)  
Operating revenue $89,768  $56,975  $17,845     $164,588  ($18,675 )$145,913  
Salaries and benefits (42,603 )(19,660 )(5,174 )($1,509 )(68,946 )5,603  (63,343 )
Other operating costs (40,457 )(37,257 )(5,502 )(1,200 )(84,416 )5,494  (78,922 )
Adjusted EBITDA** 6,708  58  7,169  (2,709 )11,226  (7,578 )3,648  
Amortization & depreciation (3,721 )(3,311 )(8,006 )   (15,038 )7,467  (7,571 )
Share based compensation (126 )(91 )(484 )88  (613 )613  -  
Operating earnings (loss)** 2,861  (3,344 )(1,321 )(2,621 )(4,425 )502  (3,923 )
Restructuring and other charges (874 )(276 )(575 )   (1,725 )678  (1,047 )
Operating profit (loss)** $1,987  ($3,620 )($1,896 )($2,621 )($6,150 )$1,180  ($4,970 )
Net loss                   ($6,589 )
               
Three months ended September 30, 2016  
                    Total Per  
                 Adjustments  Consolidated  
        Digital     Total  &  Statement of  
(in $000's) MMG  SMG  Ventures  Corporate  Segmented*  Eliminations1  Income (Loss)  
Operating revenue $97,756  $63,909  $20,005     $181,670  ($19,572 )$162,098  
Salaries and benefits (46,140 )(22,724 )(5,029 )($1,881 )(75,774 )5,302  (70,472 )
Other operating costs (43,226 )(41,882 )(6,865 )(861 )(92,834 )5,598  (87,236 )
Adjusted EBITDA** 8,390  (697 )8,111  (2,742 )13,062  (8,672 )4,390  
Amortization & depreciation (3,221 )(6,554 )(14,124 )(23 )(23,922 )13,703  (10,219 )
Share based compensation (140 )(103 )(266 )(78 )(587 )587  -  
Operating earnings (loss)** 5,029  (7,354 )(6,279 )(2,843 )(11,447 )5,618  (5,829 )
Restructuring and other charges (4,402 )1,030  (278 )(75 )(3,725 )292  (3,433 )
Operating profit (loss)** $627  ($6,324 )($6,557 )($2,918 )($15,172 )$5,910  ($9,262 )
Income from continuing operations                   $1,081  
Income from discontinued operations                   $400  
Net income                   $1,481  
1Reflects adjustments and eliminations of proportionately consolidated results of, and transactions with joint ventures and VerticalScope.
* Includes proportionately consolidated share of joint venture operations and VerticalScope.
** These are non-IFRS or additional IFRS measures, see "Non-IFRS measures".

Revenue

Segmented revenue was down $17.1 million or 9.4% in the third quarter and included revenue growth of $0.5 million (4.8%) from VerticalScope (8.8% in USD). Segmented revenue in the third quarter of 2017 reflected declines of 15% in print advertising revenues, with particular softness in national advertising revenues, a 2.0% decrease in subscriber revenue and a 12% decrease in distribution revenues.

Operating revenue (excluding our proportionate share of revenues from our joint ventures and our 56% interest in VerticalScope) was down $16.2 million or 10% in the third quarter.

Digital revenue in the third quarter of 2017 was down 7.4% relative to the third quarter of 2016 reflecting lower revenues at eyeReturn Marketing, Workopolis, Toronto Star Touch and WagJag offset by continued solid growth at VerticalScope as well as in local digital advertising within the community websites at Metroland Media Group. Digital revenues were 19% of total revenue in the third quarter compared to 19% in the third quarter of 2016. Toronto Star Touch was discontinued effective July 31, 2017 and we sold wagjag.com and related assets for gross proceeds of $0.5 million on October 30, 2017, both of which are accretive to our earnings.

Salaries and benefits

Segmented salaries and benefits costs were down $6.9 million (9.0%) in the third quarter of 2017 reflecting the benefit of savings from restructuring initiatives, as well as lower staffing costs associated with Toronto Star Touch.

Other operating costs

Segmented other operating costs primarily include newspaper circulation and flyer distribution costs, production costs and newsprint costs, which represented 42%, 13% and 12%, respectively, of segmented other operating costs for the third quarter of 2017.

Segmented other operating costs were down $8.4 million or 9.1% in the third quarter as a result of lower print volumes and the impact of other cost reductions.

Adjusted EBITDA

Our segmented adjusted EBITDA was $11.2 million in the third quarter of 2017, down $1.9 million from the prior year. Segmented adjusted EBITDA in the Digital Ventures segment was $7.2 million in the quarter, down $0.9 million relative to the third quarter of 2016. In the newspaper operations, the segmented adjusted EBITDA at the Star Media Group was $0.1 million, an improvement of $0.8 million, while segmented adjusted EBITDA at the Metroland Media Group was $6.7 million, down $1.7 million in the quarter. Segmented adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter of 2017 included Corporate expenses of $2.7 million and $7.4 million of savings from restructuring initiatives.

Amortization and depreciation

Total segmented amortization and depreciation of $15.0 million in the third quarter of 2017 decreased $8.9 million relative to the comparable period in 2016. The decrease in the third quarter of 2017 was primarily the result of lower amortization associated with our investment in VerticalScope.

Operating earnings (loss)

Segmented operating loss was $4.4 million in the third quarter of 2017 compared to segmented operating losses of $11.4 million in the third quarter of 2016. These improvements were primarily the result of lower amortization and depreciation expense.

Restructuring and other charges

Total segmented restructuring and other charges were $1.7 million in the third quarter of 2017 compared to $3.7 million in the third quarter of 2016.

Restructuring charges taken through the end of the third quarter of 2017 are expected to result in annualized net savings of $18.9 million and have resulted in the reduction of approximately 220 positions with $12.1 million of the savings expected to be realized in 2017 (including $7.1 million in the first nine months) and $5.0 million in 2018.

Operating profit (loss)

Segmented operating loss was $6.2 million in the third quarter of 2017 reflecting improvements of $9.0 million. Segmented operating loss for the third quarter of 2017 included $15.0 million of non-cash amortization and depreciation expense as well as $1.7 million of restructuring and other charges. Our loss in the third quarter of 2016 included $23.9 million of amortization and depreciation expense and $3.7 million of restructuring and other charges.

Our operating loss excluding our proportionate share of operating profit (loss) from VerticalScope and our joint ventures improved $4.3 million in the third quarter of 2017 relative to the comparable period in 2016.

Interest and financing costs

Interest and financing costs were $0.6 million in the third quarter of 2017, down $0.2 million from the third quarter of 2016, primarily reflecting lower net financing expense relating to employee benefit plans and higher interest earned on cash and cash equivalents.

Foreign exchange

Non-cash foreign exchange gains were $1.2 million in the third quarter of 2017 compared to losses of $0.8 million in the third quarter of 2016. The gains in the third quarter of 2017 primarily reflected an increase in the fair value of the hedge of the original net investment in VerticalScope.

Income (loss) from joint ventures

Our loss from joint ventures was less than $0.1 million in the third quarter of 2017 compared to income of $0.4 million in the third quarter of 2016. The results of our joint ventures are included in our discussions of segmented revenue and segmented adjusted EBITDA below.

Loss from associated businesses

Our loss from associated businesses was $2.3 million in the third quarter of 2017 compared to losses of $4.0 million in the third quarter of 2016.

The loss in the third quarter of 2017 included a loss of $0.5 million from Blue Ant, a loss of $0.3 million from Black Press and a loss of $1.5 million from VerticalScope. The loss from VerticalScope included $7.0 million of amortization expense. The loss in the third quarter of 2016 included income of $1.0 million from Black Press and income of $0.3 million from Blue Ant, offset by a loss of $5.3 million from VerticalScope which included $13.0 million of amortization expense.

Investment in VerticalScope

During 2015, we acquired a 56% interest in VerticalScope. During the third quarter of 2017, VerticalScope generated U.S. $8.4 million of cash from operations and made acquisitions totalling U.S. $15.2 million. VerticalScope's debt, net of cash, was up U.S. $13.8 million from U.S. $74.4 million at December 31, 2016 to U.S. $88.2 million at September 30, 2017. Subsequent to the end of the third quarter, VerticalScope entered into a new five-year, US $200 million senior credit facility.

In connection with the investment in VerticalScope, during the third quarter of 2017 we recorded $7.0 million of amortization and depreciation expense (2016 - $13.0 million in the third quarter of 2016). Further details of our accounting for this investment are included in Section 3 of our annual MD&A.

Other income

Other income was $23.1 million in the third quarter of 2016. Other income for the third quarter of 2016 included a gain of $21.8 million on the sale of the Vaughan Printing Facility and surrounding lands and a gain of $1.3 million on the sale of a real estate property in Guelph.

Income and other taxes

We recorded tax recoveries of $0.1 million in the third quarter of 2017 compared to a provision of $7.5 million in the third quarter of 2016. Excluding the impact of deferred income tax assets not recognized, our effective tax rate was 13.5% in the third quarter of 2017.

Net loss from continuing operations

Our net loss was $6.6 million ($0.08 per share) in the third quarter of 2017. This compares to net income of $1.1 million ($0.01 per share) in the third quarter of 2016. The third quarter of 2017 included $7.0 million of non-cash amortization and depreciation expense associated with our investment in VerticalScope and $1.7 million of restructuring charges. The third quarter of 2016 included $13.0 million of non-cash amortization and depreciation expense associated with our investment in VerticalScope as well as $3.7 million of restructuring charges.

Income (loss) from discontinued operations

On August 1, 2014 Torstar sold all of the shares of Harlequin Enterprises Limited ("Harlequin") to a division of HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C., a subsidiary of News Corp., for a purchase price of $455.0 million, subject to certain adjustments for working capital and other related items. In connection with the sale of Harlequin, Torstar indemnified the Purchaser for costs and fees related to certain matters including certain tax and pre-existing litigation matters and estimated the exposure under these indemnities and recorded a contingent liability in respect of these matters. The gain from discontinued operations in the third quarter of 2016 of $0.4 million reflects favourable revisions to estimates of the amounts of these provisions in respect of tax recoveries and insurance reserves.

Net loss attributable to equity shareholders

Our net loss was $6.6 million ($0.08 per share) in the third quarter of 2017. This compares to net income of $1.4 million ($0.02 per share) in the third quarter of 2016.

OUTLOOK

Metroland Media Group and Star Media Group continued to face a challenging print advertising market in the quarter resulting from ongoing shifts in spending by advertisers, particularly in the national advertising category while declines were more moderate in the local advertising categories. The decline in flyer distribution revenue in the third quarter of 2017 largely reflected the impact of financial challenges experienced by certain retail clients and we expect we will continue to be affected by this in the fourth quarter. Subscriber revenues declined modestly in the first nine months of 2017 and this trend is expected to continue in the balance of the year. Overall digital revenue at Metroland Media Group and Star Media Group in the balance of the year is expected to continue to benefit from continued growth at thestar.com and in local digital advertising at the Metroland community sites offset by expected continued declines in other areas.

Within the Digital Ventures segment, revenue growth from a combination of acquisitions and organic revenue growth at VerticalScope experienced through the first nine months of 2017 is expected to continue in the balance of the year. In addition, the revenue trends experienced at Workopolis and eyeReturn in the first nine months of 2017 are expected to continue through the balance of the year.

Cost reduction will remain an important area of focus. Net savings related to restructuring initiatives undertaken through the end of the first nine months of 2017 were $18.9 million and included savings associated with the outsourcing of printing the Toronto Star as well as lower investment in Toronto Star Touch. Net savings related to restructuring initiatives already undertaken are expected to be $5.5 million in the balance of the year ($2.5 million in Metroland Media Group and $3.0 million in the Star Media Group).

In addition, from a cash flow perspective, we expect full year contributions to our registered defined benefit pension plans in 2017 to be approximately $10 million to $11 million, roughly in line with the expense included in our operating earnings (loss). Furthermore, we currently expect full year 2018 funding into these plans will be approximately $10 million, roughly in line with the expense included in our operating earnings (loss). (Refer to a discussion of these measures in Section 6 of Torstar's interim September 30, 2017 MD&A).

Looking forward, in 2018, we expect the cost base to benefit from $7.0 million of restructuring initiatives undertaken to date. We are continuing to seek out additional cost savings in 2018 which will help to offset additional spending in areas important to our transformation efforts. Capital expenditures in 2018 are currently anticipated to be in the range of $12 million including additional capital spending related to our transformation activities.

DIVIDEND

On October 31, 2017, Torstar declared a quarterly dividend of 2.5 cents per share on its Class A shares and Class B non-voting shares, payable on December 29, 2017, to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 8, 2017. Torstar advises that, for the purposes of the Income Tax Act, Canada and for any relevant provincial tax legislation, this dividend is designated as an eligible dividend.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For additional information, please refer to Torstar's condensed consolidated financial statements for the period ended September 30, 2017 (the "Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements") and the Interim Management's Discussion and Analysis ("MD&A"). Both documents will be filed today on SEDAR and are available on Torstar's corporate website www.torstar.com.

CONFERENCE CALL

Torstar has scheduled a conference call for November 1, 2017 at 8:15 a.m. to discuss its third quarter results. The dial-in number is 844-891-8288. A live broadcast of the conference call will be available over the internet on the Presentations, Events and Conference Calls page (Investor Relations) on Torstar's website www.torstar.com. A recording of the conference call will be available for 9 days at 855-859-2056 reservation number 75307129. An online archive of the broadcast will be available shortly after the completion of the call and will be accessible by visiting the Presentations, Events and Conference Calls (Investor Relations) page on Torstar's website www.torstar.com.

About Torstar Corporation

Torstar Corporation is a broadly based media company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TS.B). Its businesses include the Star Media Group led by the Toronto Star, Canada's largest daily newspaper and Free Daily News Group Inc., which publishes the English-language Metro newspapers in several Canadian cities; Metroland Media Group, publisher of community and daily newspapers in Ontario; and also include digital properties including thestar.com, Workopolis, toronto.com, save.ca and eyeReturn Marketing Inc. It also holds a majority interest in VerticalScope, a North American vertically-focused digital media company.

Non-IFRS measures

In addition to operating profit (loss), an additional IFRS measure, as presented in the consolidated statement of income (loss), management uses segmented revenue, adjusted EBITDA (and where applicable segmented adjusted EBITDA), operating earnings (loss) (and where applicable segmented operating earnings (loss)), and adjusted earnings (loss) per share as measures to assess the consolidated performance and the performance of the reporting units and business segments. Please refer to Section 11 of Torstar's MD&A for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017 for a reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA and operating earnings (loss) (and segmented adjusted EBITDA/segmented operating earnings (loss) -- as applicable) with operating profit (loss) (segmented operating profit (loss) -- as applicable) and adjusted earnings (loss) per share to earnings (loss) per share.

Segmented revenue

Segmented revenue is calculated in the same manner as operating revenue in the Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements, except that it is calculated using total segment results which includes our proportionately consolidated share of revenues from joint ventures and our 56% interest in VerticalScope. Management of each segment is accountable for the revenues, including the proportionately consolidated share of revenues from joint venture operations. We believe that segmented revenue is a useful measure for investors as it is a measure of the revenues for which management of each segment is accountable. The intent of segmented revenue is to provide additional useful information to investors, analysts and readers of our financial statements. The measure does not have any standardized meaning under IFRS and accordingly may not be comparable to measures used by other companies.

Adjusted EBITDA (Segmented Adjusted EBITDA)

As a result of the increasing significance of segmented financial results from our investment in VerticalScope relative to our total segmented financial results, effective the third quarter of 2016 we have revised our definition of adjusted EBITDA to exclude share based compensation. We made this change because of the relative significance and variability of this non-cash expense in our proportionate share of VerticalScope's financial results. We believe that the exclusion of this non-cash expense from adjusted EBITDA provides greater insight for investors, analysts and readers, in regards to our segmented earnings excluding non-cash expenses. We have accordingly restated prior period comparative figures.

Management believes that adjusted EBITDA is an important proxy for the amount of cash generated by our ongoing operations (or by a reporting unit or business segment) to generate liquidity to fund future capital needs and we use this metric for this purpose. Adjusted EBITDA is not the actual cash provided by operating activities and is not a recognized measure of financial performance under IFRS. We calculate adjusted EBITDA as operating revenue, less salaries and benefits and other operating costs, as presented on the consolidated statement of income, and exclude restructuring and other charges, share based compensation and impairment of assets. Share based compensation is eliminated as it is a non-cash expense that fluctuates significantly from period to period, in particular for VerticalScope as a result of industry compensation practices. Restructuring and other charges and impairment of assets are eliminated as these activities are not related to ongoing operations as of the end of the period. The exclusion of impairment of assets also eliminates the non-cash impact. Adjusted EBITDA is also used by investors and analysts for valuation purposes. The intent of adjusted EBITDA is to provide additional useful information to investors, analysts and readers of our financial statements. The measure does not have any standardized meaning under IFRS and accordingly may not be comparable to measures used by other companies (including calculating EBITDA on an adjusted basis to exclude restructuring and other charges, share based compensation and impairment of assets). Segmented adjusted EBITDA is calculated in the same manner described above, except that it is calculated using total segment results including our proportionately consolidated results for joint ventures and our 56% interest in VerticalScope for which management is accountable.

Operating earnings (loss)/Segmented operating earnings (loss)

Operating earnings (loss) is used by management to represent the results of ongoing operations inclusive of amortization and depreciation. We use operating earnings (loss) as a measure of the amount of income generated by our ongoing operations (or by a reporting unit or business segment) after giving effect to amortization and depreciation. We believe this metric is also useful for investors for this purpose. We calculate operating earnings (loss) as operating revenue less salaries and benefits, other operating costs, share based compensation and amortization and depreciation. Operating earnings (loss) excludes restructuring and other charges and impairment of assets. Restructuring and other charges and impairment of assets are eliminated as these activities are not related to ongoing operations as of the end of the period. Our method of calculating operating earnings (including calculating operating earnings (loss) on an adjusted basis to exclude restructuring and other charges and impairment of assets) may differ from other companies and accordingly may not be comparable to measures used by other companies. The intent of operating earnings (loss) is to provide additional useful information to investors, analysts and readers of our financial statements. The measure does not have any standardized meaning under IFRS, is not a recognized measure of financial performance under IFRS, and accordingly may not be comparable to measures used by other companies. Segmented operating earnings (loss) is calculated in the same manner described above, except that it is calculated using total segment results including proportionately consolidated operating earnings (loss) for our joint ventures and our 56% interest in VerticalScope for which management is accountable.

Adjusted earnings (loss) per share

Adjusted earnings (loss) per share is used by management to represent the per share earnings (loss) of results of our ongoing operations (or by a reporting unit or business segment) and is not a recognized measure of financial performance under IFRS. We believe this metric is also useful for investors for this purpose. We calculate adjusted earnings (loss) per share as earnings (loss) per share from continuing operations less the per share effect of restructuring and other charges, impairment of assets, non-cash foreign exchange, other income (expense) and change in deferred taxes. Restructuring and other charges and impairment of assets are eliminated as these activities are not related to ongoing operations as of the end of the period. Non-cash foreign exchange, other income (expense) and changes in deferred taxes are eliminated as these are not related to routine operating activities. The intent of presenting adjusted earnings (loss) per share is to provide additional useful information to investors, analysts and readers of our financial statements. Our method of calculating adjusted earnings (loss) per share may differ from other companies and accordingly may not be comparable to measures used by other companies. The measure does not have any standardized meaning under IFRS, is not a recognized measure of financial performance under IFRS, and accordingly may not be comparable to measures used by other companies.

Operating profit (loss)/Segmented operating profit (loss)

Operating profit (loss) is an additional IFRS measure. Management uses operating profit (loss) to measure the results of operations inclusive of impairments and restructuring and other charges. Operating profit (loss) appears in our consolidated statement of income (loss). We believe that operating profit (loss) provides additional useful information to investors, analysts and readers of our financial statements. The measure does not have any standardized meaning under IFRS and accordingly may not be comparable to measures used by other companies. Our method of calculating operating profit (loss) may differ from other companies and accordingly may not be comparable to measures used by other companies. Segmented operating profit (loss) is calculated in the same manner described above, except that it is calculated using total segment results including proportionately consolidated results for our joint ventures and our 56% interest in VerticalScope for which management is accountable.

Forward-looking statements

Certain statements in this press release and in Torstar's oral and written public communications may constitute forward-looking statements that reflect management's expectations regarding Torstar's future growth, financial performance and business prospects and opportunities as of the date of this press release. Generally, these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "forecast", "expect", "estimate", "intend", "would", "could", "if", "may" and similar expressions.

This press release includes, among others, forward-looking statements regarding Torstar's expectations in relation to earnings, growth including growth at VerticalScope, anticipated revenue trends, transformation of our core brands, expected savings including savings from restructuring initiatives, estimates and expectations related to contingent liabilities and Torstar's outlook for 2017, including anticipated revenue trends, expected cost savings including savings from restructuring initiatives, transformation efforts and capital expenditures, and anticipated funding requirements in respect of our defined benefit pension plans. All such statements are made pursuant to the "safe harbour" provisions of applicable Canadian securities legislation. These statements reflect current expectations of management regarding future events and operating performance, and speak only as of the date of this press release. In addition, forward-looking statements are provided for the purpose of providing information about management's current expectations and plans relating to the future. Readers are cautioned that reliance on such information may not be appropriate for other purposes.

By their very nature, forward-looking statements require management to make assumptions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. There is a significant risk that predictions, forecasts, conclusions or projections will not prove to be accurate, that management's assumptions may not be accurate and that actual results, performance or achievements may differ significantly from such predictions, forecasts, conclusions or projections expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements in this press release as a number of factors could cause actual future results, conditions, actions or events to differ materially from the targets, outlooks, expectations, goals, estimates or intentions expressed in the forward-looking statements.

These factors include, but are not limited to: Torstar's ability to operate in highly competitive industries; Torstar's ability to compete with digital media, other newspapers and other forms of media; Torstar's ability to respond to the shift to digital media and the shift by advertisers to other digital platforms; Torstar's ability to attract, grow and retain its digital audience and profitably develop its digital platforms; Torstar's ability to attract and retain advertisers; Torstar's ability to maintain adequate circulation/subscription levels; Torstar's ability to attract and retain readers and traffic; Torstar's ability to integrate the technology associated with new digital platforms; general economic conditions and customer prospects in the principal markets in which Torstar operates; Torstar's ability to reduce costs; loss of reputation; dependence on third party suppliers and service providers; reliance on technology and information systems and risks of security breaches; changes in employee future benefit obligations; Torstar's ability to execute appropriate strategic growth initiatives including acquisitions; unexpected costs or liabilities related to acquisitions and dispositions; investments in other businesses; labour disruptions; reliance on printing operations, newsprint costs; litigation; privacy, anti-spam, communications, e-commerce and environmental laws, health and safety regulations and other laws and regulations applicable generally to Torstar's businesses; foreign exchange fluctuations and foreign operations; availability of insurance; dependence on key personnel; intellectual property rights; credit risk; availability of capital and restrictions imposed by credit facilities; income tax and other taxes; dividend policy; results of impairment tests and uncertainties associated with critical accounting estimates; holding company structure; and control of Torstar by the Voting Trust.

Torstar cautions that the foregoing list is not exhaustive of all possible factors, as other factors could adversely affect our results.

In addition, a number of assumptions, including those assumptions specifically identified throughout this press release, were applied in making the forward-looking statements set forth in this press release. Some of the key assumptions include, without limitation, assumptions regarding the performance of the North American economies; tax laws; continued availability of printing operations; availability of financing on appropriate terms; exchange rates; market competition; rates of return and discount rates relating to pension expense and pension plan obligations; expected future revenues; expected future liabilities; expected future cash flows and discount rates relating to valuation of goodwill and intangible assets; and successful development and launch of new products. There is a risk that some or all of these assumptions may prove to be incorrect. There is no assurance regarding the amount and timing of future dividends. When relying on our forward-looking statements to make decisions with respect to Torstar and its securities, investors and others should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and potential events. Torstar does not intend, and disclaims any obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, or whether as a result of new information or otherwise, except as may be required by law.

For more information, please see the discussion of risks affecting Torstar and its businesses in Torstar's 2016 Management's Discussion & Analysis which has been filed on www.sedar.com and is available on Torstar's corporate website www.torstar.com.

Torstar's news releases are available on the Internet at www.torstar.com.

Torstar Corporation  
Consolidated Statement of Financial Position  
(Thousands of Canadian Dollars)  
(Unaudited)
 
  As at  As at  
  September 30, 2017  December 31, 2016  
Assets       
 Current:       
 Cash and cash equivalents $51,447  $75,374  
 Restricted cash 9,056  11,847  
 Receivables 88,189  116,487  
 Inventories 4,276  4,829  
 Derivative financial instruments 856     
 Prepaid expenses 6,410  4,467  
 Prepaid and recoverable income taxes 6,064  9,271  
 Total current assets 166,298  222,275  
Investments in joint ventures 23,043  27,463  
Investments in associated businesses 144,778  157,897  
Property, plant and equipment 57,105  61,969  
Intangible assets 38,030  55,945  
Goodwill 8,133  8,133  
Other assets 13,031  12,414  
Employee benefits    7,073  
Deferred income tax assets 9,958  11,322  
Total assets $460,376  $564,491  
Liabilities and Equity       
 Current:       
 Accounts payable and accrued liabilities $79,906  $101,133  
 Derivative financial instruments    472  
 Provisions 17,182  28,473  
 Income tax payable 6,428  7,212  
 Total current liabilities 103,516  137,290  
Provisions 6,692  11,104  
Other liabilities 5,786  7,616  
Employee benefits 86,368  77,407  
Deferred income tax liabilities 3,640  4,904  
Equity:       
 Share capital 403,000  402,814  
 Contributed surplus 21,216  20,797  
 Accumulated deficit (166,623 )
(102,599 )
 Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) (3,039 )
5,176  
 Total equity attributable to equity shareholders 254,554  326,188  
 Minority interests (180 )
(18 )
Total equity 254,374  326,170  
Total liabilities and equity $460,376  $564,491  
     
Torstar Corporation  
Consolidated Statement of Income (Loss)  
(Thousands of Canadian Dollars except per share amounts)  
(Unaudited)
 
  Three months ended  Nine months ended  
  September 30  September 30  
  2017  2016  2017  2016  
         
Operating revenue $145,913  $162,098  $446,346  $496,691  
         
Salaries and benefits (63,343 )
(70,472 )(194,542 )(226,474 )
Other operating costs (78,922 )(87,236 )(242,239 )(262,734 )
Amortization and depreciation (7,571 )(10,219 )(30,053 )(36,671 )
Restructuring and other charges (1,047 )(3,433 )(11,600 )(42,125 )
Operating loss (4,970 )(9,262 )(32,088 )(71,313 )
Interest and financing costs (571 )(841 )(1,708 )(2,388 )
Foreign exchange 1,182  (761 )1,340  776  
Income (loss) from joint ventures (31 )366  (2,480 )947  
Loss from associated businesses (2,307 )(3,996 )(4,804 )(37,189 )
Other income 8  23,075  55  24,348  
  (6,689 )8,581  (39,685 )(84,819 )
Income and other taxes recovery (expense) 100  (7,500 )1,200  8,100  
Net income (loss) from continuing operations (6,589 )1,081  (38,485 )(76,719 )
Income from discontinued operations    400  500  800  
Net income (loss) ($6,589 )$1,481  ($37,985 )($75,919 )
Attributable to:             
 Equity shareholders ($6,557 )$1,432  ($37,823 )($76,014 )
 Minority interests ($32 )$49  ($162 )$95  
         
         
Net income (loss) attributable to equity shareholders per Class A (voting) and Class B (non-voting) share:             
Basic and Diluted:             
 From continuing operations ($0.08 )$0.01  ($0.48 )($0.95 )
 From discontinued operations    $0.01  $0.01  $0.01  
  ($0.08 )$0.02  ($0.47 )($0.94 )
         
Torstar Corporation  
Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows  
(Thousands of Canadian Dollars)  
(Unaudited)
 
  Three months ended  Nine months ended  
  September 30  September 30  
  2017  2016  2017  2016  
Cash was provided by (used in)             
Operating activities $9,668  ($2,454 )($8,166 )($22,348 )
Investing activities (4,660 )50,236  (9,774 )69,512  
Financing activities (1,940 )(2,146 )(5,987 )(12,524 )
Increase (decrease) in cash 3,068  45,636  (23,927 )34,640  
Cash, beginning of period 48,379  24,145  75,374  35,141  
Cash, end of period $51,447  $69,781  $51,447  $69,781  
Operating activities:             
 Net income (loss) from continuing operations ($6,589 )$1,081  ($38,485 )($76,719 )
 Amortization and depreciation 7,571  10,219  30,053  36,671  
 Deferred income taxes    8,100     (3,400 )
 Loss (income) from joint ventures 31  (366 )2,480  (947 )
 Distributions from joint ventures 126  159  1,940  159  
 Loss from associated businesses 2,307  3,996  4,804  37,189  
 Dividend from associated businesses       194  194  
 Non-cash employee benefit expense 3,895  4,003  11,677  13,724  
 Employee benefits funding (3,580 )(5,127 )(15,609 )(14,549 )
 Gain on sale of assets    (23,075 )   (24,338 )
 Other (1,852 )(1,219 )(5,817 )(282 )
   1,909  (2,229 )(8,763 )(32,298 )
 Decrease (increase) in restricted cash       2,791  (3,540 )
 Decrease (increase) in non-cash working capital 7,759  (225 )(2,194 )13,490  
Cash provided by (used in) operating activities $9,668  ($2,454 )($8,166 )($22,348 )
Investing activities:             
 Additions to property, plant and equipment and intangible assets ($3,938 )($5,007 )($8,990 )($13,193 )
 Received from (investment in) associated businesses       63  (500 )
 Investment in joint ventures          (293 )
 Acquisitions and portfolio investments (748 )(353 )(873 )(358 )
 Receipt of escrowed cash from sale of Harlequin          22,750  
 Proceeds from sale of assets    55,596     61,105  
 Other 26     26  1  
Cash provided by (used in) investing activities ($4,660 )$50,236  ($9,774 )$69,512  
Financing activities:             
 Dividends paid ($1,996 )($2,003 )($5,965 )($12,347 )
 Other 56  (143 )(22 )(177 )
Cash used in financing activities ($1,940 )($2,146 )($5,987 )($12,524 )
Cash represented by:             
Attributed to continuing operations:             
 Cash $16,138  $19,781  $16,138  $19,781  
 Cash equivalents -- short-term deposits 35,309  50,000  35,309  50,000  
 Net cash, end of period $51,447  $69,781  $51,447  $69,781  

Contact Information

  • For more information please contact:
    L. DeMarchi
    Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer
    Torstar Corporation
    (416) 869-4776