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Tribune Company Reports Q4 and Full Year 2013 Results; Sees $10 Million Decline in Commercial Printing in Full Year

Monday, March 31, 2014

Press release from the issuing company

Tribune Company (the “Company” or “We”) today reported its results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 29, 2013. The consolidated financial statements along with management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations are available in the Financial Information section of the Company’s corporate website, www.tribune.com.

52 Weeks (2013) vs. 53 Weeks (2012)
The Company’s fiscal year ends on the last Sunday in December. The fourth quarter and full year 2013 comprised a 13-week period and 52-week period, respectively. The Company’s fourth quarter and full year 2012 comprised a 14-week period and 53-week period, respectively. The additional week increased consolidated operating revenues, operating expenses and operating profit by approximately 1.5%, 1% and 3%, respectively, in the full year 2012.

Local TV
The acquisition of Local TV closed on December 27, 2013 and the 2013 results reflect contributions from that business from the closing date through December 29, 2013. Local TV contributed $4 million of revenues and $2 million of Adjusted EBITDA to the fourth quarter and full year results for the Broadcasting segment.

Fourth Quarter
Consolidated Revenues in the fourth quarter of 2013 were $773 million compared to $871 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. This represented a decline of $97 million, or 11%. The fourth quarter of 2012 consisted of 14 weeks, while the fourth quarter of 2013 consisted of 13 weeks. The impact of the additional week in 2012 accounted for $46 million of the decline in revenues in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Broadcasting Revenues were $267 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, a decline of $36 million compared to $303 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. The decline was primarily due to the impact of the additional week in 2012 of $14 million, lower political advertising revenues, as 2013 was an off-cycle election year, and a $10 million decrease in barter revenues, partially offset by a $7 million increase in retransmission consent revenues. The decline in barter revenues was primarily related to a change in the estimated value of barter programming. The decline in barter revenue had an offsetting decrease in barter programming expense, and thus had no impact on Adjusted EBITDA.

Publishing Revenues in the fourth quarter of 2013 were $507 million, compared to $568 million the fourth quarter of 2012, a decline of $61 million. This decline was primarily due to the impact of the additional week in 2012 of $32 million, a $24 million decline in advertising revenue, a $6 million decline in commercial printing and delivery services and other, offset by a $4 million increase in circulation revenues.

Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA declined to $255 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 from $288 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. For comparability purposes, Adjusted EBITDA in
the fourth quarter of 2012 excludes $12 million related to the extra week during the period.

  • Broadcasting Adjusted EBITDA was $94 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared to $119 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. The decline was primarily a result of the impact of lower political advertising revenues.
  • Publishing Adjusted EBITDA was $109 million in the fourth quarter of both 2013 and 2012, as lower cash operating expenses offset the impact of revenue declines.
  • Corporate expenses reduced Adjusted EBITDA by $14 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared to $11 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, primarily due to higher compensation and recruitment fees.

Full Year 2013
Consolidated Revenues in the year ended December 29, 2013 were $2,903 million, compared to $3,145 million in the year ended December 30, 2012. This represented a decline of $241 million, or 7.7%. The full year 2012 results consisted of 53 weeks, while the full year 2013 results consisted of 52 weeks. The impact of the additional week in 2012 accounted for $46 million of the decline in revenues in 2013.

Broadcasting Revenues were $1,014 million for the full year 2013, a decline of $127 million compared to $1,142 million reported in 2012. The decline was primarily due to a $52 million decline in advertising revenue net of agency commissions, a $48 million decrease in barter revenues, a $36 million decline in copyright royalties due to one-time royalties received in 2012 and the impact of the additional week in 2012 of $14 million. These declines were partially offset by a $25 million increase in retransmission consent revenues due to higher rates included in several retransmission consent agreement renewals. More than half of the decline in advertising revenue was attributable to lower political revenue, as 2013 was an off-cycle election year. The remainder of the decline in advertising revenue was primarily related to declines at WPIX-TV, New York resulting from lower ratings, lower Cubs baseball revenue at WGN-TV, Chicago and lower ratings and a weaker national scatter market at WGN America. The decline in barter revenues primarily related to a change in the estimated value of barter programming. The decline in barter revenue had an offsetting decrease in barter programming expense, and thus had no impact on Adjusted EBITDA.

Publishing Revenues for the full year 2013 were $1,889 million, compared to $2,003 million in 2012, a decline of $114 million. The decline was primarily due to an $86 million reduction in advertising revenue, the impact of the additional week in 2012 of $32 million, a $10 million decline in commercial printing and delivery services, offset by a $12 million increase in circulation revenues.

Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA declined to $787 million in 2013 from $832 million in 2012. For comparability purposes, Adjusted EBITDA for 2012 excludes $12 million related to the extra week during the period.

  • Broadcasting Adjusted EBITDA was $336 million in 2013, compared to $419 million in 2012. The decline was primarily due to the impact of lower revenues.
  • Publishing Adjusted EBITDA was $296 million in 2013, compared to $298 million in
    2012.
  • Corporate expenses reduced Adjusted EBITDA by $49 million in 2013, compared to $41
    million in 2012.

Cash distributions from equity investments were $208 million in 2013 compared to $232 million in 2012. The distributions received in 2012 included $61 million that was related to dividends that were distributed to the Company in respect of prior periods.

“Broadcasting revenue trends during the first three quarters were disappointing. However, in the fourth quarter, non-political core advertising revenue stabilized year over year. Our root challenges are definable and addressable and we have taken action. In the Publishing business, our operational actions have stabilized profitability and we are confident that we are building a solid foundation for this business’s future. Overall we are excited by our prospects for Q1 and full year 2014,” said Peter Liguori, Tribune Company President and Chief Executive Officer.

 

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