Canadian newspaper company posts sharp increase in net income, thanks in part to federal wage subsidy

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      While several Canadian media conglomerates have posted losses during the pandemic, a Winnipeg-based publishing company appears to be bucking this trend.

      Today, FP Newspapers Inc. reported net income of $1.3 million from April through June. That was more than double the net income of $0.6 million over the same quarter of 2019.

      What's more remarkable is that this rosy profit picture emerged even as revenues fell by 30 percent in the quarter compared to April through June of 2019.

      FP Newspapers Inc. is a publicly traded company that owns 49 percent of the distributable cash of FP Canadian Newspapers Limited Partnership.

      Vancouver-based Stern Partners is the other shareholder in the partnership, which owns the Winnipeg Free Press, Brandon Sun, several community newspapers, and commercial printing operations.

      Through the first six months of this year, FP Newspapers Inc. posted revenues of $26.1 million—down 19.6 percent from the same period of 2019.

      The federal government played a major reason in the improved profitability.

      In the footnotes to its financial statements, FP Newspapers Inc. reported receiving $3,858,000 from the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy in the recent quarter. In addition, it generated $175,000 from the Journalism Tax Credit.

      That added up to more than $4 million, compared to just $500,000 from the Journalism Tax Credit in the same quarter of 2019.

      FP Newspapers Inc. isn't the only publishing company in the black even as advertising revenues have fallen off. Last month, the Straight pointed out that Toronto-based ZoomerMedia generated an $834,201 profit in its most recent quarter.