Gannett, which is the owner of the USA Today as well as 109 other local media products, said on Monday that digital revenue growth was not able to offset the declines it suffered in traditional advertising and publishing during the 2018 first quarter, which resulted in the company suffering a net loss.
The company, based in McLean, Virginia posted a $377,000 net loss, which for the basis of per share was breakeven. In 2017, the company posted a $2.08 million new loss equal to 2 cents a share for the same three-month period.
After adjustments, Gannett posted a profit for the quarter of 13 cents a share, in comparison to 14 cents for the same period one year ago. The company’s results beat expectations on Wall Street of 3 cents a share.
Total quarterly operating revenue dropped 6.5% to end the period at $723 million compared to the prior year total of $773.5 and beat expectations on Wall Street of $721.6 million
Digital advertising as well as marketing revenues increased during the three month period, but not enough to offset the drop in print advertising as well as circulation revenue.
CEO and president at Gannett Robert Dickey through a statement said that the company was pleased with its momentum during the quarter in revenues from digital advertising which were 43.6% of the total revenues from advertising during the quarter.
Overall, results during the quarter were ahead of company expectations thanks to solid growth in revenues from digital advertising, especially within the category of digital marketing services.
Digital advertising was up by 7.3% to end the quarter at $101.5 million in comparison to last year when it reached $94.6 million. Full digital revenue was up over 9% to end the quarter at $255.5 million equal to 35% of all revenue. Digital only subscribers were up 51% to end the quarter at over 382,000.
Readership at the USA Today was increased and averages approximately 126 million visitors per quarter up 11% compared to one year ago.
Revenue from ReachLocal, its local marketing firm online acquired just two years ago was up 24% for the quarter $96.5 million.
The company’s total revenue from publishing was down 8.1% ending the quarter at $638.8 million in comparison to last year during the same period of $694.8 million. Print adverting was down 16.6% ending the quarter at $225.4 million.