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Newspaper Publishers



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  1. The Canadian newspaper publishing industry experienced modest growth and stable profits in 2006, as rising revenues and profits in the western provinces compensated for slower results in the east.
  2. Operating revenues amounted to $5.34 billion in 2006, up 2.6% from $5.21 billion in 2005. The pace of revenue growth was slower than in each of the previous three years. However, the industry avoided the contraction that occurred in the United States, where newspaper publishing revenues declined 1.7%.
  3. Industry revenue growth in 2006 was a close reflection of regional economic performance as publishers in the western provinces, and Alberta in particular, had the highest growth rates. Operating revenues for publishers in Western Canada grew by 3.9%, nearly double the rate of 2.1% in Ontario and 2.0% in Quebec.
  4. The industry’s operating profit margin held steady at 13.2%. Profit margins were also healthiest in Western Canada, rising from 18.2% in 2005 to 21.1% in 2006. In contrast, profit margins in Ontario declined from 10.0% to 7.4% under the weight of a 5.1% increase in operating expenses.
  5. Operating expenses rose 2.6% in 2006, matching the rise in operating revenues. Salaries, wages, and benefits, which account for 39% of industry expenses, rose 3.6% while printing costs, the second largest expense item, held steady.
  6. Advertising revenues rose 2.7% to $3.98 billion in 2006. Daily newspapers accounted for $2.85 billion of the industry’s advertising revenues, compared to $1.13 billion for community newspapers.
  7. Competition from free news sources on the internet and from the increasing number of free daily newspapers continued to provide downward pressure on print circulation figures among the paid daily newspapers. Despite this, industry circulation revenues rose 1.5% to $862 million in 2006, due in large part to price increases and changes in accounting practices.