15 December 2009
Transcontinental posts profit in fourth quarter
MONTREAL—Revenues for the fourth quarter, ended October 31, were $594 million, down 9% from $653 in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to the latest financial release from Transcontinental. But in a piece of good news, net income in the quarter climbed to $43.1 million from a loss of $94.3 million in 2008. This positive financial result helped to offset steep declines in the first two quarters of the fiscal year, the company says.  
For fiscal 2009 revenue dropped 6% to $2.29 billion from $2.43 billion and net loss totaled $81.8 million from net income of $6.6 million in 2008.  
The printing sector, the largest for the company, had revenues of $1.405 billion, down 8.5% from $1.537 in fiscal 2008. About 60% of the decline can be attributed to a drop in direct mail spending in the U.S., according to the financial statements.  
A rationalization plan instituted to cope with the recession, which saved about $80 million in costs, included merging or consolidating five printing plants and selling two. In addition 2,000 employee were laid off, about half of whom were in the direct mail operations in the U.S.
In more positive news, Transcontinental began printing The San Francisco Chronicle and signed two new six-year contracts with Rogers Communications.   Going forward, the company reports that it sees growth in ew services in one-to- one advertising and new communication platforms.  
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