Broadcaster

Revenues, income jump at Quebecor Media

8/4/2003

MONTREAL - All line items took a sharp turn for the better at Quebecor Media in the last quarter as the company's broadcasting, cable TV and publishing assets all saw increases in revenue and profit.

QMI earned net income of $24.6 million in the second quarter of 2003, ended June 30th, compared with $500,000 in Q2 2002, an increase "derived mainly from the growth in operating income combined with lower financial expenses, unusual charges and income taxes," said the company's press release.

Quebecor Media's main assets are its Vidéotron cable division, TVA broadcasting group and Sun Media newspaper segment.

Operating income was up 8.1% in the quarter to $172 million. From the Vidéotron cable side alone, operating income went up 21.5% to $73.9 million and on the broadcasting (TVA) side OI increased 22.5% to $26.7 million in Q2 2003, compared to the same quarter last year.

In addition, QMI's $429 million term loan has been paid down in full.

In terms of revenue, QMI recorded revenues of $586.6 million in the second quarter of 2003, an increase of 3.5%. "Surging revenues from Internet services and digital television in the cable television segment, higher advertising revenues in the newspapers segment, and a considerable increase in the broadcasting segment's broadcasting and publishing revenues account for the positive results," said the release.

For the first six months of 2003, Quebecor Media's revenues totaled $1.13 billion, compared with $1.11 billion for the same period of 2002. Operating income was $314.2 million, an increase of 8.9% over the first half of the previous year. Net income amounted to $32.2 million, compared with a net loss of $21.6 million in the same period of 2002.

The higher revenues on the cable side came from Internet services and illico digital cable customer growth combined with recent rate increases. At the end of the second quarter of 2003, there were 194,000 subscribers to illico, an increase of 42% from the same date of the previous year. The customer base for Internet services increased 33% to 352,000 as of June 30, 2003, compared with 265,000 last year. Monthly ARPU (average revenue per user) rose to $43.25 compared with $40.37 one year earlier, a 7.1% increase.

TVA results, announced last week, can be found here.

For the full release, go to www.quebecor.com.

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