Total revenue was $395.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, down $29.6 million from $425.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Excluding the impact of $4.6 million from acquisitions and an $11.2 million decrease in Metroland Media Group's TMGTV resulting from lower product sales, revenue was down $23.0 million or 5.4% in the fourth quarter of 2012. Media Segment revenues, excluding the above items, were down $9.9 million or 3.2% in the fourth quarter, largely due to print advertising revenue declines. Book Publishing Segment revenues, excluding the $4.3 million impact of foreign exchange, were down $8.8 million in the fourth quarter with revenues down in both North America and Overseas. Declines in print revenues were only partially offset by increases in digital revenues.
Salaries and benefits
Salaries and benefits expense was consistent with the prior year in the fourth quarter as savings in the Book Publishing Segment as well as $5.4 million of savings from restructuring initiatives in the newspaper businesses in the Media Segment were offset by the impact of acquisitions, increased pension costs and regular wage increases.
Other operating costs
Other operating costs were down $12.8 million or 6.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012 resulting from revenue declines, and a $9.7 million decrease in TMGTV costs resulting from lower product sales, partially offset by investment spending related to Metro.
EBITDA was $64.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, down $16.6 million from $81.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Media Segment EBITDA was down $12.5 million primarily as a result of lower print advertising revenues. Book Publishing Segment EBITDA was down $4.4 million including a decline of $1.1 million from the impact of foreign exchange. Corporate expenses were $3.3 million, down $0.3 million from $3.6 million in 2011.
Restructuring and other charges
Restructuring and other charges of $6.7 million and $13.7 million were recorded in the fourth quarter of 2012 and 2011 respectively. Fourth quarter 2012 restructuring provisions of $6.3 million are expected to result in annual net savings of $5.9 million and a reduction of approximately 67 positions. $0.4 million of the savings were realized in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Impairment of assets
During the fourth quarter, Torstar incurred charges related to asset impairments totaling $11.7 million related to certain equipment, intangible assets and goodwill in the Media Segment. These charges have no impact on cash flows. During the fourth quarter, in connection with restructuring activities, Torstar incurred charges related to asset impairments totaling $0.4 million related to certain equipment in the Metroland Media Group of cash generating units ("CGUs") and $0.3 million related to certain equipment and finite life intangible assets in the Toronto Star Group CGU. Additionally, during the fourth quarter of 2012, Torstar performed its annual impairment test on the value of intangible assets with a finite useful life, intangible assets with an indefinite useful life and goodwill. A goodwill impairment charge of $11.0 million was recorded in the Workopolis CGU as a result of increased competition in the online recruitment and job search markets and prevailing economic conditions.
Interest and financing costs
Interest expense increased in the fourth quarter of 2012 reflecting a higher level of average net debt outstanding in the fourth quarter of 2012 and higher effective interest rates. The average net debt (long-term debt and bank overdraft net of cash and cash equivalents) was $154.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, up $33.7 million from $121.1 million in the same period last year. Torstar's effective interest rate on long-term debt was 4.0% in the fourth quarter of 2012 and 3.0% in the fourth quarter of 2011.
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