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Times Mirror Earnings Set Record During '85

February 13, 1986|JUBE SHIVER Jr. | Times Staff Writer

Times Mirror Co. on Wednesday reported record net income for 1985, although fourth-quarter profits were down, partly because of a loss on the sale of a stake in its newsprint and forest products unit.

Separately, shareholders of the Los Angeles-based media company, parent of the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers, overwhelmingly approved an anti-takeover provision in the corporate bylaws that shifts the company's state of incorporation to Delaware from California.

Times Mirror said net income in the year ended Dec. 31 rose to $237.1 million from $232.7 million in 1984. Revenue climbed to $2.96 billion from $2.8 billion.

Operating Profits Rose

In the fourth quarter last year, after-tax profits fell to $58.21 million from $83.74 million the year before as revenue rose to $803.61 million from $748.67 million. However, quarterly operating profits--before interest expense and provisions for sale of assets--rose 22% to $148.15 million.

Times Mirror said the latest period included a loss of $13.1 million from the pending sale of an 80% stake in its Publishers Paper newsprint and forest products division and a gain of $7.3 million on sale of its interest in a Long Beach cable television system. The year-ago quarter included a $31.6-million pretax gain on the sale of securities.

For all of 1985, the company reported pretax gains of $41.1 million on sales of assets, compared to gains of $31.6 million in 1984.

Times Mirror said its newspaper publishing, newsprint and forest products, cable television, and book, magazine and other publishing operations showed improved operating profits for the year. Broadcast television, however, was down slightly, as were its other operations, reflecting the absence of the art and graphic products unit, which was sold.

Broad Contributions

All of the company's businesses contributed to the rise in fourth-quarter operating profits, the company said.

Robert F. Erburu, chairman, president and chief executive, said he expects the company to benefit in 1986 from continued expense control and productivity gains. But he added that the first quarter's results will be affected by the pending disposition of certain operations.

The reincorporation change, which was approved by more than 74% of the outstanding shares at a meeting held in Los Angeles, includes adoption of various related measures intended "to promote stability of the company's shareholder base and to render more difficult certain unsolicited or hostile takeover attempts."

The other measures include establishment of staggered terms for directors and a required "supermajority" of shareholders to approve certain mergers and other business combinations.

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