Profit at Transcontinental Inc. plummeted to $8.1 million in the third quarter despite higher revenue as soft national advertising outside Quebec, lower educational book sales and costs related to its acquisition of Quad/Graphics Canada hurt the bottom line.
The Montreal-based media company and printer said Thursday that it earned 10 cents per share for the period ended July 31. That compared to 39 cents per share a year earlier when net income was $31.5 million.
Adjusting for one-time items, profits dropped 23% to $24.9 million or 31 cents per share, compared with $32.5 million or 40 cents per share in the year-ago period.
Revenues were $517 million, up 8% from $479.4 million due to the acquisitions of Quad/Graphics and Redux Media, new printing contracts and community newspaper launches in Quebec.
The increase was partially offset by reduced educational book sales following the end of school reform in Quebec, printing contract incentives and lower community newspaper ad revenues.
CEO Francois Olivier said the results demonstrated the resilience of its printing operations as well as difficult markets conditions facing its media sector.
He said the company is on track to generate more than $40 million in synergies over the next 18 months from the acquisition of Quad/Graphics’ Canadian plants that once belonged to Quebecor World.
Transcontinental is the largest printer in Canada and fourth-largest in North America. It is a publisher of magazines, French-language educational resources and community newspapers in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. It also has a digital network of more than 3,500 website.