Emmis Q1 Revenues Down, Loss Swings to Profit

Emmis Communications posted fiscal first quarter (March-April-May) net revenues of $62.4 million down 27% from $85.4 million. The company's radio unit fell to $46.1 million from $63.5 million in 2008. Operating income (OI) swung to a loss of $5.99 million to $13.8 million and station operating income (SOI) declined to 8 million from $71.2 million. Emmis posted net earnings of $7.5 million (20 cents per share) as compared to a loss of $1.05 million.

"While I believe we have seen the bottom of this downturn, what no one can say is how long it will take to climb out of the trough. Therefore, we continue to do what's necessary to survive and prepare for better times," said President/CEO Jeff Smulyan. "The good news is that our strategy is working. By focusing on debt reduction, maintaining compliance with our banking agreements and reducing expenses, Emmis is protecting itself from the financial failure that threatens so many others these days."

Smulyan also noted, that during the quarter, Emmis had reduced it debt by nearly 20%, continued making interest payments, sold its unprofitable Belgium radio operations and made the difficult decisions to cut positions and reduce salaries.

"While I can't point to any big shifts in the outlook, I do see encouraging, incremental improvements in pacings and ratings in radio. One point I would like to make emphatically: While some of you have voiced concern over Emmis' being downgraded by rating agencies, or by talk of bankruptcies in our sectors, I can tell you this: We are putting ourselves in a position to survive," Smulyan concluded.

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