TVA Group Inc.
TSX : TVA.B

TVA Group Inc.

May 02, 2008 09:41 ET

TVA Group Records Net Income of $5.7 Million for the Quarter Ended March 31, 2008

MONTREAL, CANADA--(Marketwire - May 2, 2008) - TVA Group Inc. (TSX:TVA.B) announces that the Company reported net income of $5.7 million, or $0.21 per share, for the first quarter of 2008, compared with net income of $0.9 million, or $0.03 per share, for the corresponding quarter of 2007.

Operating highlights for the first quarter:



- Significant improvement of $5.7 million in the Television sector's
operating income over the same quarter of 2007, generated
essentially by specialty channel and TVA Network activities,
including:

- Growth of 52% in operating income for specialty channels
including operating costs related to the launch of the new
channel, Les idees de ma maison, in mid-February; and

- Growth of over 11% in TVA Network's operating revenues, while
for the same quarter of 2007, there was a drop of 2.3% against
the same quarter of 2006.

- Growth of more than 50% in the Publishing sector's operating
income, compared with the corresponding quarter last year,
increasing from $1.1 million in 2007 to $1.7 million in 2008.

- For the fourth consecutive quarter, the Distribution sector
significantly improved its profitability, generating operating
income of $17,000, against an operating loss of $2,207,000 for
the corresponding quarter of 2007.


As a result, the Company's consolidated operating income was $11.4 million, against operating income of $2.7 million for the same quarter of 2007.

"We are satisfied with the contribution our three business segments have made to the Company's consolidated financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2008. In the short term, our advertising revenues from the Television sector are excellent because TVA Network has benefited from, among other things, an unusual economic environment in Quebec's French-language television market while optimizing its customer offering for advertisers, maintaining a market share of 27 and broadcasting 23 of the market's 30 best-watched programs. The growth of our operating income from specialty channels also results from the growth of their advertising revenues by more than 32% over the corresponding quarter of 2007. We are also pleased with the success that our new specialty channel, Les idees de ma maison, has achieved among advertisers and viewers alike since its launch on February 19, 2008," said Pierre Dion, President and Chief Executive Officer of TVA Group Inc.

"In the Publishing sector, the various investments made in our content and marketing strategies have helped increase our operating revenues by almost 8%. Our profit margin also improves to 8.7%, compared with 6.2% for the same quarter of 2007. Finally, in the Distribution sector, operating results improved due mainly to the sale of rights in the television market for movies released in 2007, combined with a smaller number of releases in movie theatres during the first quarter of 2008 compared with the same quarter of 2007," added Mr. Dion.

Cash flows from operating activities used during the quarter were $2.8 million, against $13.8 million in cash flows generated for the corresponding year-ago period. This reduction is the result of major disbursements since December 31, 2007, mainly for income tax and to accounts payable and accrued liabilities with regard to rights and fixed assets.

TVA Group's Board of Directors today declared a dividend of $0.05 per share, payable on June 3, 2008 to Class A and B shareholders of record as at May 19, 2008. This dividend is designated to be an eligible dividend, as provided under subsection 89(14) of the Canadian Income Tax Act and its provincial counterpart.

TVA Group Inc., a subsidiary of Quebecor Media Inc., is an integrated communications company involved in television, the production and distribution of audiovisual products, and in magazine publishing. TVA Group is one of the largest private sector producers and the largest private sector broadcaster of French-language entertainment, information and public affairs programming, and magazine publishing in North America. TVA also operates SUN TV, a conventional station in Toronto. The Company's Class B shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol TVA.B.

The unaudited consolidated financial statements with notes and Management's Discussion and Analysis can be consulted on TVA's Web site at: www.tva.canoe.ca.

Definition of operating income

In its analysis of operating results, the Company defines operating income or operating loss as earnings (loss) before amortization, financial expenses, restructuring costs of operations, impairment of intangible assets, gain on acquisition and disposal of business, (recovery) income taxes, non-controlling interest and equity in income of companies subject to significant influence. Operating income or operating loss, as defined above, is not a measure of results that is consistent with Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP"). Neither is it intended to be regarded as an alternative to other financial performance measures or to the statement of cash flows as a measure of liquidity. This measure is not intended to represent funds available for debt service, dividend payment, reinvestment or other discretionary uses, and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for other performance measures prepared in accordance with Canadian GAAP. Operating income is used by the Company because management believes it is a meaningful measurement of performance.

This measure is commonly used by senior management and the Board of Directors to evaluate the consolidated results of the Company and its sector's results. Measurements such as operating income are also commonly used by the investment community to analyze and compare the performance of companies in the industries in which we are engaged. The Company's definition of operating income may not be identical to similarly titled measures reported by other companies.

Forward-looking Information Disclaimer

The statements in this news release that are not historical facts may be forward-looking statements and are subject to important known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions which could cause the Company's actual results for future periods to differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of the conditional, the use of forward-looking terminology such as "propose," "will," "expect," "may," "anticipate," "intend," "estimate," "plan," "foresee," "believe" or the negative of these terms or variations of them or similar terminology. Certain factors that may cause actual results to differ from current expectations include seasonality, operational risks (including pricing actions by competitors), capital investment risks, environmental risks, credit risks, government regulation risks, governmental assistance risks and general changes in the economic environment. Investors and others are cautioned that the foregoing list of factors that may affect future results is not exhaustive and that undue reliance should not be placed on any forward-looking statements. For more information on the risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause the Company's actual results to differ from current expectations, please refer to the Company's public filings available at www.sedar.com and www.tva.canoe.ca including, in particular, the "Risks and Uncertainties" section of the Company's Management's Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2007.

The forward-looking statements in this news release reflect the Company's expectations as of May 2, 2008, and are subject to change after this date. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or intention to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by the applicable securities laws.



TVA GROUP INC.
Consolidated statements of income
(unaudited)
(in thousands of dollars, except per share amounts)

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Three-month periods
ended March 31
--------------------------------------------------------------------
2008 2007
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Operating revenues $106,460 $93,326
Operating, selling and
administrative expenses 95,068 90,602
Amortization of fixed assets, intangible
assets and start-up costs 3,315 3,188
Financial expenses (note 3) 717 1,037
Restructuring costs of operations (note 4) - 980
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Income (loss) before income taxes,
non-controlling interest and
equity in income of companies subject
to significant influence $7,360 $(2,481)
Income taxes (recovery) (note 5) 2,371 (2,219)
Non-controlling interest (536) (778)
Equity in income of companies subject to
significant influence (172) (420)

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NET INCOME AND COMPREHENSIVE INCOME $5,697 $936
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EARNINGS PER SHARE BASIC AND DILUTED
(note 8 c) $0.21 $0.03
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See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements


Consolidated statements of retained earnings
(unaudited)
(in thousands of dollars)

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--------------------------------------------------------------------
Three-month periods
ended March 31
--------------------------------------------------------------------
2008 2007
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Balance, at beginning of period $95,610 $62,631
Net income 5,697 936
Dividends paid (1,351) (1,351)
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Balance, at end of period $99,956 $62,216
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See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements


TVA GROUP INC.
Consolidated balance sheets
(in thousands of dollars)

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--------------------------------------------------------------------
March 31, 2008 Dec. 31, 2007
(unaudited) (audited)
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ASSETS
Current assets
Cash $2,202 $3,225
Accounts receivable 102,568 107,854
Current income tax assets 1,456 946
Investments in televisual
products and films 33,992 45,906
Inventories and prepaid expenses 6,087 5,969
Future income tax assets 3,823 4,629
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150,128 168,529
Investments in televisual
products and films 32,640 27,253
Investments (note 7) 31,657 31,571
Fixed assets 76,511 77,275
Future income tax assets - 2,319
Other assets 9,416 9,102
Licences and others intangible assets 69,728 69,732
Goodwill 71,981 71,981
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$442,061 $457,762
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LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY
Current liabilities
Bank overdraft $5,794 $2,435
Accounts payable and
accrued liabilities 70,325 85,812
Current income tax liabilities 1,719 11,037
Broadcast and distribution
rights payable 24,477 23,054
Deferred revenue 6,524 6,613
Deferred credit 439 471
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109,278 129,422

Broadcast rights payable 4,254 3,965
Long-term debt 59,497 56,333
Future income tax liabilities (note 5) 37,099 39,334
Others long term liabilities (note 7) 146 731
Non-controlling interest and redeemable
preferred shares 12,922 13,458
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223,196 243,243
Shareholders' equity
Capital stock (note 8) 115,137 115,137
Contributed surplus 3,772 3,772
Retained earnings 99,956 95,610
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218,865 214,519
Contingency and Subsequent Event (note 13)
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$442,061 $457,762
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See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements


TVA GROUP INC.
Consolidated statements of cash flows
(unaudited)
(in thousands of dollars)

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Three-month periods
ended March 31
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2008 2007
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CASH FLOWS FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES
Net income $5,697 $936
Non-cash items
Amortization 3,338 3,209
Equity in income of companies subject
to significant influence (172) (420)
Non-controlling interest (536) (778)
Future income taxes 848 (1,338)
Others (61) (644)
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Cash flows provided by
current operations 9,114 965
Net change in non-cash items (11,949) 12,827
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Cash flows from operating activities (2,835) 13,792
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CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES
Additions to fixed assets (2,471) (3,498)
Business acquisition (note 6) - (2,625)
Deferred charges (400) -
Changes in investments (note 7) (489) -
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Cash flows from investing activities (3,360) (6,123)
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CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES
Bank overdraft 3,359 5,930
Increase (decrease) in long-term debt 3,164 (13,278)
Dividends paid (1,351) (1,351)
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Cash flows from financing activities 5,172 (8,699)
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Net change in cash (1,023) (1,030)
Cash, at beginning of period 3,225 2,956
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Cash, at end of period $2,202 $1,926
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SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION
Interest paid $874 $670
Income taxes paid (received) 11,359 (2,532)
Additions to fixed assets financed by
accounts payable and accrued
liabilities at end of period $1,405 $1,068
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See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements


TVA GROUP INC.

Notes to consolidated financial statements

Three-month periods ended March 31, 2008 and 2007 (unaudited)

(Amounts presented in the tables are expressed in thousands of dollars, except per-share and per-option amounts)

1. FINANCIAL STATEMENT PRESENTATION

These consolidated financial statements have been prepared in conformity with Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP"). With the exception of the accounting policies presented in Note 2 for the current quarter, the same accounting policies described in the consolidated financial statements included in the latest annual report of TVA Group Inc. ("the Company") have been used. However, these consolidated financial statements do not include all disclosures required under Canadian GAAP for an annual report and accordingly should be read in conjunction with the Company's latest annual consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto.

Some of the Company's businesses experience significant seasonality effects due to, among other things, seasonal advertising patterns and their influence on people's viewing, reading and listening habits. Because the Company depends on the sale of advertising for a significant portion of its revenue, operating results are also sensitive to prevailing economic conditions, including changes in local, regional and national economic conditions, particularly as they may affect advertising expenditures. Accordingly, the results of operations for interim periods should not necessarily be considered indicative of full-year results due to the seasonality of certain operations.

2. CHANGES IN ACCOUNTING POLICIES

On January 1, 2008, the Company adopted the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) Handbook Section 3031, Inventories which requires that additional details be provided regarding the determination and recognition of inventories and the information to be presented. The adoption of this new section does not have any significant effect on its consolidated financial statements.

On January 1, 2008, the Company also adopted Sections 3862, Financial Instruments - Disclosures, 3863, Financial Instruments - Presentation and Section 1535, Capital Disclosures. The disclosures required by the new standards are presented in Note 12.


3. FINANCIAL EXPENSES



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Three-month periods
ended March 31
--------------------------------------------------------------------
2008 2007
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Interest on long-term debt $739 $1,176
Dividends on redeemable preferred shares 267 930
Interest revenue on convertible bonds
issued by an affiliated company (258) (900)
Interest revenue (52) (202)
Amortization of deferred financing charges 22 22
Foreign exchange (gain) loss (1) 11
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$717 $1,037
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4. RESTRUCTURING COSTS OF OPERATIONS

During the first quarter of 2007, the Company recorded a provision for restructuring costs of $980,000. A provision of $219,000 was recorded following the elimination of positions in the Publishing sector and a provision of $761,000 was recorded for new litigations relating to the production activities of its former subsidiary, TVA Acquisition.

5. INCOME TAXES (RECOVERY)

During the first quarter of 2007, in light of the evolution of tax auditing, jurisprudence and tax legislation, the Company reduced its future tax liabilities by $1,488,000.

6. BUSINESS ACQUISITION

On January 8, 2007, the Company made the final payment of the purchase price for the conventional television station in Toronto, SUN TV, including a working capital adjustment of $2,625,000.

7. INVESTMENT

During the quarter, the Company made an additional capital investment of $ 490,000 in the pay-per-view service, Canal Indigo S.E.N.C. in which it already has a participating interest of 20 %. The interests of each of the partners remained unchanged during the quarter. On February 15, the Company concluded an agreement to acquire the totality of the remaining interests in Canal Indigo S.E.N.C. for total consideration of $ 105,000. The ratification of this transaction is conditional upon obtaining CRTC approval of the licence transfer.



8. CAPITAL STOCK

a) Number of shares outstanding

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March 31, 2008 Dec. 31, 2007
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Class A common shares 4,320,000 4,320,000
Class B shares 22,704,848 22,704,848
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27,024,848 27,024,848
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b) Shares redemption

Substantial issuer bid

On March 31, 2008, the Company filed a substantial issuer bid to redeem up to 2,000,000 of its participating non-voting Class B shares for cancellation at a fixed price of $ 17.00 per share, represented approximately 8.8 % of all currently issued and outstanding Class B shares. The offer expires on May 14, 2008, unless extended by the Company.

c) Earnings per share

The following table provides the calculation of basic and diluted earnings per share:



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Three-month periods
ended March 31
--------------------------------------------------------------------
2008 2007
--------------------------------------------------------------------

Net income $5,697 $936
Weighted average number
of shares outstanding 27,024,848 27,024,848
Effect of dilutive stock options 1,343 1,219
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Weighted average number of
diluted shares outstanding 27,026,191 27,026,067
Basic and diluted earnings per share $0.21 $0.03
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9. STOCK-BASED COMPENSATION AND OTHER STOCK-BASED PAYMENTS

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Three-month periods
ended March 31, 2008
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Conventional Quebecor Media
Class B stock Inc. stock
options options
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Balance at beginning 983,693 328,159
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Exercised - (68,404)
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Balance as at March 31, 2008 983,693 259,755
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During the quarter, the Company increased the number of Class B shares that could be issued under the Class B stock option plan for managers from 1,400,000 to 2,200,000.

Of the options outstanding as at March 31, 2008, 133,761 conventional Class B stock options at an average exercise price of $19.54 and 2,523 Quebecor Media Inc. stock options at an average exercise price of $30.47 can be exercised.

10. GUARANTEES

The maximum exposure in respect of the guaranteed portion of the residual values of certain assets under operating leases to the benefit of the lessor is approximately $976,000. As at March 31, 2008, the Company did not record any liability related to these guarantees.

11. PENSION PLANS AND OTHER RETIREMENT BENEFITS

The Company maintains defined benefit and defined contribution pension plans for its employees. In addition, under an old plan, the Company maintains for certain retired employees other retirement benefits, such as health, life and dental insurance plans. Total costs for these benefits are as follows:



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Three-month periods
ended March 31
--------------------------------------------------------------------
2008 2007
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Pension plans
Defined benefit plans $682 $991
Defined contribution plans 572 611

Other retirement benefits $47 $46
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12. FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS AND FINANCIAL RISK MANAGEMENT

The Company's risk management policy is established to identify and analyze the risks faced by the Company, to set appropriate risk limits and controls, and to monitor risks and adherence to limits. Risk management policy is reviewed, when necessary, to reflect changes in market conditions and the Company's activities.

From its use of financial instruments, the Company is exposed to credit risk, liquidity risk, market risks relating to foreign exchange fluctuations and to interest rate fluctuations.

i) Fair value of financial instruments

The carrying amount of accounts receivable from external and related parties (classified as receivables) and accounts payable and accrued charges to external or related parties (classified as other liabilities) approximates their fair value since these items will be realized or paid within one year. As at March 31, 2008, the fair value of the long-term debt was equivalent to the book value because it bears interest at variable rates. The fair value of the convertible bonds issued by an affiliated company could not be determined because financial instruments with essentially the same economic characteristics are virtually impossible to find on the market.

ii) Credit risk management

The Company is exposed to credit losses resulting from defaults by third parties. In the normal course of business, the Company regularly evaluates the financial position of its clients and reviews the credit history of each new client. As at March 31, 2008, no clients had balances representing a significant portion of the Company's consolidated trade receivables. The Company establishes an allowance for doubtful accounts in response to the specific credit risk of its clients. The Company's accounts receivable balance is divided among various clients, primarily advertising agencies. The Company does not believe that it is exposed to an unusual or significant level of customer credit risk. The allowance for doubtful accounts amounted to $4,157,000 as of March 31, 2008 ($ 3,578,000 as of December 31, 2007).

iii) Liquidity risk management

Liquidity risk is the risk that the Company will not be able to meet its financial obligations as they fall due or at excessive cost. The Company ensures that it has sufficient cash flows from continuing operations and available sources of financing to meet planned cash requirements for capital investments, working capital, interest payments, debt repayments, pension plan contributions, dividends and shares redemption.

The Company has at its disposal a maximum amount of $160,000,000 under a credit agreement consisting of a revolving-term bank loan bearing interest at floating rates based on the banker's acceptance rate or Canadian bank prime rate, plus a variable margin based on the ratio of total debt to operating income (or earnings before interest, taxes and amortization). The credit agreement matures on June 15, 2010 and is repayable in full on that date.

vi) Market risk

Market risk is the risk that changes in market prices due to foreign exchange rates and interest rates will affect the Company's income or the value of its financial instruments. The objective of market risk management is to mitigate and control exposures within acceptable parameters.

Foreign currency risk

The Company is exposed to limited foreign currency risk on sales and expenses that are denominated in a foreign currency other than Canadian dollars due to the insubstantial volume of such transactions undertaken. The majority of these transactions are denominated in U.S. dollars, mainly for the acquisition of certain distribution rights, for capital expenditures and for certain foreign denominated sales. The Company has determined in view of its limited transactions denominated in a foreign currency, its limited exposure to foreign currency risk does not necessitate the use of hedging. Accordingly, the Company's sensitivity to the variation of foreign currency rates is not significant.

An increase or a decrease of 1% in the exchange rate of a Canadian dollar into a U.S. dollar would have an impact on earnings before taxes or capital expenditures less than $ 100,000 on a yearly basis.

Interest rate risk

The Company is exposed to interest rate risk on its long-term debt because its financing bears interest at variable rates.

An increase (decrease) of 100 basis points in Canadian banker's acceptances rate at the reporting date would have increased (decreased) interest expenses by $ 595,000 on an annual basis using debt level prevailing as of March 31, 2008.

Considering the low exposure to markets risk, the company does not use derivative financial instruments. However, the Company regularly reviews its situation to ensure that its exposure to these risks has not changed.

Capital management

The Company's primary objectives in managing capital are:

- to safeguard the entity's ability to continue as a going concern, so that it can continue to provide returns for shareholders

- to maintain an optimal capital base in order to support the capital requirements of is various activities sectors, including growth opportunities and to maintain investor and creditor confidence.

The Company manages its capital structure in accordance with the characteristics of the assets of its underlying sectors and according to its planned requirements. The Company has the ability to manage its capital structure by issuing new debts or by repaying existing debt with cash generated internally, by controlling the amounts it returns to shareholders under the dividends or shares redemption or by issuing capital stock and by making adjustment to its capital expenditures program. Since the last financial year, the Company has not changed significantly its strategy regarding the management of its capital structure.

The capital structure of the Company is composed of shareholder equity, bank overdraft, long-term debt, non-controlling interest, redeemable preferred shares at the option of the holder, less cash.

Except for the maintenance of certain financial ratios required in the credit agreement, the Company is not subject to any others externally imposed capital requirements.

13. CONTINGENCY AND SUBSEQUENT EVENT

In 2003 and 2004, a number of companies, including TVA Group Inc., brought a suit against the Crown before the Federal Court, alleging that the Part II licence fees that broadcasters are required to pay annually constitute, in fact and in law, taxes, not fees. On December 14, 2006, the Federal Court decreed that these fees did indeed constitute taxes, that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ("CRTC") was to cease collection of such fees, and ordered that the plaintiff companies would not be entitled to a reimbursement of the amounts already paid. On October 1, 2007, the CRTC issued a document, stating that it would adhere to the decision that was rendered and that it would not collect, in 2007 or in any subsequent years, the Part II licence fees payable on November 30 of each year unless a Superior Court reversed the Federal Court decision. The plaintiffs and the defendant both filed an appeal before the Federal Court of Appeal. The reduction of theses fees in the operating expenses for the period from September 1, 2006 to March 31, 2008 represents $4,906,000, of which $ 767,000 is for the first quarter of 2008. On April 29, 2008, the Federal Court of Appeal handed down its decision and overturned the December 14, 2006 decision of the Federal Court. As a result, the Company may be required to pay these rights for the year 2007 and in coming years. However, the CRTC did not publicly state its position on the collection of the Part II licence fees prior to the date of the Federal Court Appeal decision. The management is currently examining the decision of the Court of Appeal in detail and will determine in the coming weeks whether it will launch an appeal with a higher court.

14. SEGMENTED INFORMATION

The following table includes information on operating income, as well as information on assets:



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Three-month periods
ended March 31
--------------------------------------------------------------------
2008 2007
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Operating revenues
Television $83,280 $73,268
Publishing 19,261 17,836
Distribution 5,049 3,805
Intersegment items (1,130) (1,583)
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106,460 93,326
Operating, selling and
administrative expenses
Television 73,705 69,438
Publishing 17,590 16,726
Distribution 5,032 6,012
Intersegment items (1,259) (1,574)
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95,068 90,602
Income before amortization, financial
expenses, restructuring costs of
operations, income taxes (recovery),
non-controlling interest and equity in
income of companies subject to
significant influence
Television 9,575 3,830
Publishing 1,671 1,110
Distribution 17 (2,207)
Intersegment items 129 (9)
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$11,392 $2,724
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The intersegment items mentioned above represent the elimination of normal course business transactions made between the Company's business segments regarding revenues, expenses and unrealized profit.



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March 31, 2008 December 31, 2007
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Total assets
Television $331,977 $342,500
Publishing 82,714 84,237
Distribution 16,108 19,763
Unallocated items 11,262 11,262
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$442,061 $457,762
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Contact Information

  • TVA Group Inc.
    Denis Rozon, CA
    Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer
    514-598-2808