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Times Mirror Operating Income Rises in 3rd Quarter

October 21, 1994| From a Times Staff Writer

Modest but steady newspaper advertising growth and unexpectedly strong results in professional and textbook publishing helped Times Mirror Co. boost its third-quarter income from continuing operations to $39.8 million from $15.2 million a year ago, although net income fell.

Times Mirror, parent of the Los Angeles Times, announced Thursday that it logged net income of $52.3 million, or 41 cents a share, in the quarter ended Sept. 25, compared to $77.7 million, or 60 cents a share, in the third quarter of 1993.

The current-year figure includes a non-recurring gain of 3 cents a share, while the 1993 quarter included gains on cable television asset sales of 37 cents a share. Excluding those gains, third-quarter net income would have been $48.1 million this year, compared to $30.1 million last year.

Robert F. Erburu, Times Mirror chairman, president and chief executive, said, "While we were very pleased with our third-quarter results, they also benefited by comparison with modest third-quarter results in 1993."

Times Mirror's newspaper publishing group, which includes The Times, Newsday, New York Newsday, the Baltimore Sun papers and the Hartford Courant, had third-quarter revenue of $493.2 million, up 4.9% from $470.4 million a year earlier. Advertising revenue was $372.2 million for the 1994 period, up 7.6% from $346.0 million in 1993.

Group operating profit hit $33.0 million this year, up from $13.7 million in 1993's third quarter, although the latter figure was diminished by a $3.8-million charge for voluntary separation programs at The Times.

The company's professional information group, including health sciences and college textbook publishing and the Matthew Bender & Co. legal publishers, set quarterly records with revenue of $288.5 million, up 9.1%, and operating profit of $68.4 million, up 19.8%.

The consumer multimedia group, including magazine and consumer book publishing plus new consumer multimedia software and television programming businesses, had a third-quarter operating profit of $3.4 million on revenue of $77.2 million, compared to year-ago operating profit of $2.4 million on revenue of $72.3 million.

For the first nine months of 1994, Times Mirror net income was $120.4 million, or 93 cents a share, compared to $155.4 million, or $1.21 a share, in 1993. Excluding non-recurring gains, net income for the first three quarters of 1994 would have been $109.7 million, compared to $105.0 million the year before.

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