While overall revenue from advertising at the newspaper chain Lee Enterprises dropped by 10 percent for fiscal 2017, it was up almost eight percent on the digital side. Year-to-date earnings were down. For the fiscal year, earnings totaled $28.6 million, or 50 cents per diluted common share, compared to $36.0 million, or 64 cents per diluted common share, in the prior year. That's a drop of more than 10 percent in interest expense for the period.
"We also maintained our industry-leading margins in both the fourth quarter and fiscal 2017".
"Expanding our digital audiences, increasing audience engagement, developing new digital revenue streams are essential to our continued strong digital revenue growth", he says.
"Digital advertising revenue increased 6.1 percent and represented 29.3 percent of total advertising revenue for the quarter", Mowbray said. For the fiscal year, operating revenue decreased 7.7 percent to $566.9 million.
Operating revenue fell 5.4 percent in the quarter to $140.2 million.
Lee Enterprises says the $3.5 million in third quarter results compares to $0.7 million for the same period previous year.
"A soft print advertising environment contributed to overall revenue declines", Mowbray said. Total revenue declined 6.8 percent in the last 12 months.