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Transcontinental Reports 4% Decrease in Revenues

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Press release from the issuing company

Transcontinental’s Inc. revenues decreased by 4% in the first quarter, from $514.8 million to $495.9 million, driven primarily by the sale of its black and white book printing business, destined for U.S. exports, completed last September, which was part of the asset swap transaction in which it acquired Quad/Graphics Canada on March 1st. Revenues were also impacted by lower volume from the non-recurring revenue from the printing contract for the Canadian Census last year and to a lesser extent, the printing of magazines and books. This first quarter decrease was mitigated by the Media sector, most notably from the growth of its digital media and community newspaper businesses, as a result of recent investments. Consolidated revenues are expected to return on a growth path over the next year given the contribution from the Quad/Graphics Canada acquisition as well as other contracts such as Canadian Tire.

For this same period, adjusted operating income decreased 12%, from $48.7 million to $43.0 million, driven primarily by the Media sector due to a softer advertising environment coupled with continued competitive pressures in the local solutions marketplace and to a lesser extent by lower first quarter volume in the Printing sector. Net income applicable to participating shares decreased from $25.7 million, or $0.32 per share, to a loss of $33.3 million, or $0.41 per share. This decrease is mainly due to a tax provision of $58.0 million related to notices of re-assessment, which the Corporation intends to contest, pertaining to deductions on investments in capital assets made by the Corporation, as well as interprovincial allocation of income. Excluding unusual items, adjusted net income applicable to participating shares decreased 6%, from $28.8 million, or $0.36 per share, to $27.1 million, or $0.33 per share.

“The acquisition of the Canadian assets of Quad/Graphics is an important milestone in our development, said François Olivier, President and Chief Executive Officer of TC Transcontinental. It strengthens our print business going forward given the industry dynamics and it allows us to extend our integrated marketing activation offering to many new customers. In fact, our transformation continues to ramp up with the growth of our digital and interactive revenues again this quarter.

We continue to maintain a strong financial position with a solid balance sheet and an ability to generate significant cash flow. If the advertising markets remain stable, we expect to improve our performance in the balance of the year given the lift from the Quad/Graphics Canada acquisition, the full impact from new contracts and the benefits related to the integration of our Media and Interactive sectors. We are confident in our strategy and future prospects and as such have increased our dividends on participating shares by 7%.”

Other Highlights of the Quarter

  • On February 16, 2012, Isabelle Marcoux was elected Chair of the Board.
  • Capital expenditures decreased, from $21 million to $8 million. Capital expenditures are expected to be $75 million at the most for fiscal 2012.
  • Transcontinental Inc. put in place a new $400 million five-year Unsecured Revolving Credit Facility that expires in February 2017. The current credit facility will remain in place until its expiry in September 2012 but has been reduced to $200 million.
  • As at January 31, 2012, the adjusted net indebtedness ratio was 1.42x, as compared to 1.44x as at October 31, 2011. 
  • In February 2012, the federal and provincial tax authorities informed the Corporation that it would receive notices of re-assessment estimated to be $58.0 million, including applicable interest and penalties for its fiscal years 2006 to 2010. The notices of re-assessments relate to deductions on investments in capital assets made by the Corporation, as well as the interprovincial allocation of income. The Corporation recorded a provision of $58.0 million with respect to these matters, of which $16.0 million was included in financial expenses and $42.0 million in income taxes, although it intends to contest these re-assessments. Therefore, the outcome of this dispute could favorably influence the amounts recognized in the consolidated financial statements of the Corporation.
  • Continued to grow our newspaper publishing operations in Quebec by acquiring the print and Internet publishing assets ofCourrier Frontenac as well as acquiring the assets of Tout Magazine. We also launched a new community newspaper, theValleyfield Express.ca. In addition, we are now the sole shareholder of Réseau Sélect, the largest advertising network for the French-language weekly press in Canada.
  • Acquired the shares of Les Éditions Caractère, the leader in the supplemental educational publishing market in Quebec and publisher of bestsellers in the trade market.

For more detailed financial information, please see Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the first quarter ended January 31, 2012and the complete financial statements on our website at www.tc.tc, under “Investors.”

Reconciliation of Non-IFRS Financial Measures

Financial data have been prepared in conformity with IFRS. However, certain measures used in this press release do not have any standardized meaning under IFRS and could be calculated differently by other companies. We believe that many readers analyze our results based on certain non-IFRS financial measures because such measures are more appropriate for evaluating the Corporation’s operating performance. Internally, Management uses such non-IFRS financial information as an indicator of business performance, and evaluates management's effectiveness with specific reference to these indicators. These measures should be considered in addition to, not as a substitute for or superior to, measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with IFRS.


At its March 12, 2012 meeting, the Corporation’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.145 per Class A Subordinate Voting Shares and Class B Shares. This dividend is payable on April 26, 2012 to participating shareholders of record at the close of business on April 6, 2012. The Corporation thus increased the dividend per participating share by 7%, or $0.04 per share, raising the new annual dividend to $0.58 per share, from $0.54 per share. This increase is a reflection of Transcontinental’s strong cash flow position. Furthermore, at the same meeting, the Board also declared a quarterly dividend of $0.4196 per share on cumulative 5-year rate reset first preferred shares, series D. This dividend is payable on April 16, 2012. On an annual basis, this represents a dividend of $1.6875 per preferred share.


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