WINNIPEG, MANITOBA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/14/13 -- FP Newspapers Inc. ("FPI") announces financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2013. FPI is the successor to the business of the FP Newspapers Income Fund and owns securities entitling it to 49% of the distributable cash of FP Canadian Newspapers Limited Partnership ("FPLP").
First quarter operating results of FPI
FPI reported net earnings of $1.0 million or $0.141 per share for the three months ended March 31, 2013, compared to net earnings of $0.8 million or $0.116 per share in the same period last year.
First quarter operating results of FPLP
FPLP's revenue for the three months ended March 2013 was $25.7 million, a decrease of $1.3 million or 4.6% from the same three months in the prior year. Advertising revenues for the three months ended March 2013 were $17.0 million, a $0.9 million or 5.0% decrease compared to the same period last year. The first quarter of 2013 had two fewer publishing days than the prior year as last year was a leap year and the Good Friday non-publishing day fell in the first quarter this year, but was in the second quarter in 2012. FPLP's largest advertising revenue category, display advertising including colour, was $11.3 million, a decrease of $0.4 million or 3.5% from the same period in the prior year, primarily due to decreased spending in the automotive and travel categories and less revenue from third party magazines, partially offset by increased spending in the department store category. Classified advertising revenues for the first quarter decreased by $0.3 million or 12.3% compared to the same period last year, primarily due to lower spending in the automotive and employment categories, partly offset by increased spending in the real estate category. Flyer distribution revenues for the quarter decreased by $0.2 million or 4.4% primarily due to a small decrease in flyer volumes, partly offset by slightly higher earned rates.
Circulation revenues for the three months ended March 2013 were $6.4 million, a decrease of $0.1 million from the first quarter of 2012, with lower unit sales offsetting increased revenue from higher subscription rates. Commercial printing revenues for the quarter increased by $0.2 million, primarily attributable to increased printing at the Derksen Printers operation. Other revenues for the first quarter decreased by $0.4 million, primarily due to non-recurring sales of the Winnipeg Jets officially licensed medallion collection in the first quarter of 2012.
Operating expenses for the three months ended March 2013 were $22.4 million, a decrease of $1.7 million or 7.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Employee compensation costs for the first quarter decreased by $0.4 million from the same period in the prior year, primarily due to fewer employees, partially offset by wage increases included in the collective agreements effective October 1, 2012 and an increase in the expense for the defined benefit pension plan. Newsprint expense for FPLP's own publications for the first quarter decreased by $0.2 million or 10.6% compared to the same period in the prior year, primarily due to lower volumes resulting from fewer circulation copies. Newsprint expense for commercial printing remained at relatively the same level as the first quarter in 2012. Other expenses decreased by $0.9 million or 16.6% compared to the same quarter last year, primarily due to non-recurring costs relating to the Winnipeg Jets medallion circulation promotion project in the first quarter last year, lower costs for producing third party magazines and lower marketing expenses.
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