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Source: Lee Enterprises news release

DAVENPORT, Iowa , May 05, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NASDAQ: LEE), a leading provider of high quality, trusted, local news, information and a major platform for advertising in 77 markets, today reported second quarter fiscal 2022 financial results(2) for the period ended March 27, 2022.

"Our second quarter results demonstrate the investments in our Three Pillar Digital Growth strategy are paying off with tremendous digital revenue growth. Execution of our strategy has put Lee in position to achieve our digital revenue targets for the fiscal year; advancing Lee as a vibrant, digital-centric company with a strong base of recurring, sustainable, digital revenue," said Kevin Mowbray, President and Chief Executive Officer. "In the second quarter, total digital revenue was $58 million, a 33% increase over the prior year, and represented 31% of our total operating revenue - up from 23% a year ago," Mowbray added.

"I'm particularly pleased our strong growth in digital advertising revenue more than offset the decline in print. Total advertising and marketing services revenue increased 2% in the second quarter, as digital advertising increased 36%. Digital advertising and marketing services revenue totaled $43 million in the quarter and $160 million over the last twelve months - pacing well towards our goal of $175 million of digital advertising and marketing services revenue in fiscal year 2022. Amplified Digital®, our full service digital marketing solutions agency, fueled the digital growth with revenue of $19 million in the quarter, up 108%," Mowbray added.

"Lee is the fastest growing digital subscription platform in local media and has been for the last nine quarters. And digital-only subscriber growth continued at a rapid pace in the second quarter - up 59% over the prior year. Lee now has 492,000 digital-only subscribers, putting us six months ahead of our year-end goal. At the same time, we are driving an increase in average rates for digital-only subscriptions, which were up 22% in the second quarter compared to the first quarter. Digital-only subscription revenue increased 45% to $10 million in the quarter and totaled $33 million over the last twelve months, nearly achieving our year-end guidance six months early," Mowbray added.

"Our second quarter results have us on track to achieve all of our fiscal year 2022 digital revenue targets. These early returns on our digital investments give us confidence we have the right strategy, the right team and we are executing with velocity," said Mowbray.

"Operating expenses were up 5% due to investments in digital talent and technology to drive our digital revenue growth and increases in input costs, partially offset by reductions in costs tied to print revenue streams. We continue to drive efficiencies in our legacy cost structure and are pulling additional levers to better align our legacy costs with the associated revenues," said Tim Millage, Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. "These cost reduction actions taken early in the third quarter have an annualized benefit of $45 million. We continue to expect Adjusted EBITDA to be in the $95 - $98 million range," Millage added.

To read the entire report click here.

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