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Knight Ridder Releases April Advertising Statistical Report

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Press release from the issuing company

SAN JOSE, Calif., May 20 -- Both total operating revenue and total advertising revenue for Knight Ridder (KRI: NYSE) in April were down 3.0%, their best year-over-year comparisons since January and February of 2001, respectively. For the month, retail revenue was down 0.5%, general was down 5.4% and classified was down 5.2%. Help wanted revenue was down 24.5% (vs. down 37.5% in March). Auto was up 12.2%. Real estate was up 7.8%. Of the large markets, Miami, Fort Worth and Contra Costa each showed some modest ad revenue improvement during the month. San Jose continued to lag by a significant gap. Its revenue was down 14.9% for the month, with classified down 18.5%. Knight Ridder Chairman and CEO Tony Ridder said, "We are pleased to see circulation numbers increasing from the prior year. For the month, daily circulation was up 1.0% while Sunday was up 0.4%, and we are on target to achieve circulation growth throughout the company in 2002. "Directionally and sequentially, April was on track, and we are pleased. We continue to be comfortable with the current consensus for Q2 earnings as well. My only caveat is that April received some assist from the early Easter, which diminished help wanted on the final Sunday in March -- inevitably moving some of that business into April. "In that context, it is worth looking at the two months combined. When you do, you see that total advertising revenue for March and April was down 4.6%, with retail down 0.7%, general down 4.3% and classified down 9.2%. In the classified verticals, auto was up 10.2% for the two months combined; real estate was up 3.7%, and help wanted was down 30.6%." Retail, down 0.5% for the month, was down 0.9% for the year to date. In April, in the 10 largest markets, five were up and five were down, all in low to mid single digits -- with the exception of Detroit, which was down in the low double digits. Across the company, drugs and home improvement were up strongly while groceries were off. General, down 5.4% for the month, was down 6.0% for the year to date. Most of the large markets were down, although Detroit, Miami and Contra Costa were all up in the low double digits. Declines were largely attributable to rough telecom comparisons; improvement was in the national auto category. Classified, down 5.2% for the month, was down 15.0% for the year to date. All of the large markets were down, mostly in the low single digits. San Jose was the exception -- down 18.5%. Circulation revenue was down 3.9% for the month. Other revenue was down 0.3%, primarily due to a 14.9% drop in commercial printing. Knight Ridder Digital revenue, also included in other revenue, was up 31.8% for the month. Circulation revenue was down 3.9% for the month. Other revenue was down 0.3%, primarily due to a 14.9% drop in commercial printing. Knight Ridder Digital revenue, also included in other revenue, was up 33.1% for the month.

 

 

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