Quebecor Inc tops profit expectations says its poised for immense growth on

MONTREAL — Quebecor Inc. had $62.5 million of net income in the fourth quarter, up from $6.2 million a year earlier, as the company refocused its news media operations and signed several deals to set it up for future growth, including the acquisition of the French-language broadcast rights for NHL games in Canada.Net income attributable to shareholders was $43.4 million, or 35 cents per basic share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, versus $7.1 million or six cents year over year.Adjusted earnings from continuing operations came in at $68 million, or 55 cents per basic share, for the fourth quarter, compared with $52.3 million, or 42 cents per basic share, in the same period of 2012. Revenues for the quarter remained relatively flat, up 0.5 per cent to $1.12 billion.Canadian Press Quebecor owns the province’s most-read tabloid newspaper and its most-watched TV network. It also operates a 24-hour news TV channel and Videotron, Canada’s third-largest cable services provider.Analysts’ estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters had called for 53 cents of adjusted earnings on $1.15 billion in revenues.The Montreal-based telecom and media company said that its fourth quarter benefited from a $66.5 million favourable variance in losses and gains on valuations and translations of financial instruments. It also saw an $8 million drop in financial expenses and a $8.7 million favourable variance in losses on debt refinancing.It said the gains were partially offset by a $15.3 million unfavourable variance charge for restructuring its operations, impairment of assets and other special items; and a $3.2 million increase in amortization charges.Quebecor said along with the NHL deal, it anticipates “immense opportunities for future development and growth” through its acquisition of seven 700 MHz spectrum licences across Canada and a 20-year agreement with Rogers to build and operate a shared LTE wireless network.The company said savings from a series of restructuring changes with Sun Media Corporation will be realized in 2014, and will use to finance an expansion of its content offerings in print and digital platforms.Earlier this week, Quebecor’s former CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau announced that he was running for the Parti Quebecois in the next election on April 7, bringing his credentials as a good economic manager and his celebrity-like status to the pro-independence party.Peladeau had stepped down from the company a year ago, saying he would provide advice on strategic projects that were “vital” to the media and telecom company, but also cited family and philanthropy as reasons for leaving.But just days ago, the multi-millionaire owner of Quebecor said he was getting into politics because he wants to see Quebec become a country. Longer term, Peladeau could eventually emerge as a leader of Quebec’s sovereignty movement.It’s expected that he will be required by the province’s ethics commissioner to put his shares in Quebecor in a blind trust if elected.Peladeau, 52, comes from a prominent family and has become even more of a household name through his long relationship with Quebec TV star and producer Julie Snyder, a union that recently ended.Peladeau has also long pushed to bring the NHL back to Quebec City.His four-year tenure as head of one of Canada’s largest media and telecom companies wasn’t without incident and controversy.Peladeau sued a Radio-Canada vice-president for alleged defamatory remarks in a case that was eventually settled out of court. He also threatened legal action against the Crown broadcaster because it didn’t advertise in Quebecor’s French-language newspapers.There were years-long lockouts at major newspapers, Le Journal de Montreal and Le Journal de Quebec, while the company’s Quebecor World printing division ended up in bankruptcy and was sold.Quebecor’s Sun Media group bills itself as Canada’s largest newspaper publisher with tabloids in Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Calgary, the broadsheet London Free Press, along with smaller Ontario dailies in cities like Brantford, Sault Ste. Marie and Kingston.It has weeklies it picked up in the 2007 acquisition of Osprey Media’s 20 daily and 34 weekly newspapers. It also publishes the free 24 Hours transit publications. In December 2013, it sold 74 community weeklies in Quebec to Transcontinental Interactive.Its Sun News television network offers right-of-centre news and opinion coverage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *