Quebecor posts $25.7 million loss

Montreal - Quebecor Inc. lost $25.7 million in the first quarter, primarily because of expenses linked to its acquisition of Groupe Videotron last October and charges on short-term investments and losses at subsidiary companies.

The Montreal-based multimedia giant reported Friday its 2001 quarterly loss, compared with a profit of $22.9 million or 36 cents a share in the same period last year. Quarterly revenues rose to $2.7 billion, up from $2.64 billion.

Friday's results don't include the revenues and operating profits of Quebecor subsidiaries Videotron and the TVA network, which are under the control of trustees until the federal broadcast regulator approves their sale to Quebecor.

The two companies had combined sales of nearly $250 million during the quarter. The CRTC's final decision on the Quebecor deal is expected in June.

"If, as we hope, the decision is favourable, it will enable Quebecor Media to complete its platform for convergence," Quebecor president Pierre Karl Peladeau, said in a release.

"We are eager to integrate these new assets with our media properties in order to develop a highly competitive service offering for the cable TV and communications marketplace."

In trading on the Toronto stock market Friday, Quebecor sharer rose 20 cents to $25.85.

Quebecor is one of Canada's biggest companies, with interests in commercial printing, newspapers, broadcasting, entertainment and new media.

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