Friday, February 22, 2013

The Washington Post Co. takes $113 million charge due to declining results at Kaplan education division, posts loss of $45.4 million in Q4, newspaper revenue falls 6%

The Washington Post Co. took $113 million of charges for goodwill write downs in its fourth quarter, resulting in the company posting a loss of $45.4 million (the company posted a profit of $61.7 million one year ago).

Revenue at the newspaper division continued to slide, down 6 percent on the quarter to $162 million, to end the year down 7 percent, or $581.7 million for the full year (versus $622.5 million in 2011). Daily circulation at the flagship newspaper declined 8.6 percent, as well. Average daily circulation at The Washington Post was 471,800, with average Sunday circulation now at 687,200. The newspaper division would be barely profitable if not for pension expenses of $42.3 million – as a result, the division posted a loss of $53.7 million, versus a loss of $21.2 million in 2011.

Television revenue was up robustly 25 percent, while cable television revenue grew 4 percent.

But The Washington Post Co. has hung its future on the for-profit education market with its Kaplan education devision. At nearly $2.2 billion in revenue, the division is by far the biggest division of the company and 2012 was not a good year as education revenue declined 10 percent in 2012.