Canwest trims 2Q loss on cost-cutting moves

Firm posts $46.1 million in losses, way down from a year ago

TORONTO -- Canadian media group Canwest Global Communications Corp. on Tuesday posted a lower second-quarter loss on cost-cutting moves, despite operating under court-directed creditor protection.

Winnipeg-based Canwest recorded $46.1 million in losses during the three months ending Feb. 28, well down from a year-earlier loss of $1.44 billion due to steep charges against goodwill and intangible assets.

Second-quarter revenue was $478.6 million, down 3% from CAN$493.4 million in 2009. Revenue from Canwest Global's publishing division, which the media group is attempting to sell to pay down debt, was $254 million, down slightly from a year-earlier $258 million.

And TV revenue came to $225 million, down 5% from $236 million in 2009, as gains from specialty channel revenue offset a steep fall in over-the-air ad sales.

Canwest Global filed for court protection last fall to keep creditors at bay while it attempts a restructuring.

Efforts to emerge from creditor protection have been hampered by a battle for control of the media group between U.S. bondholders and Goldman Sachs & Co., which owns 13 profitable cable channels that Canwest Global operates on behalf of the Wall Street investment house.

Goldman Sachs is expected to have to renegotiate its 2007 shareholders agreement with Calgary-based cable operator Shaw Communications, which earlier received court approval to take a controlling stake in Canwest Global for $95 million to move the restructuring process forward.
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