2013-10-01 22:19:01 -
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona (October 1, 2013) -- Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE:
LEE) reduced debt by $98.5 million in its fiscal year ended September 29, 2013,
reducing the balance to $847.5 million, two years ahead of its reorganization
In remarks prepared for a presentation Wednesday at the Deutsche Bank 21st
Annual Leveraged Finance Conference in Scottsdale, AZ, Mary Junck, Lee chairman
and chief executive officer, and Carl Schmidt, vice president, chief financial
officer and treasurer, said Lee expects to continue reducing leverage over the
next several years.
They also said:
* Lee's consolidated leverage has been reduced to approximately 4.9x Adjusted
EBITDA((1) ) for the 53 weeks ended June 30, 2013 (LTM June 2013).
* Business transformation initiatives are expected
to reduce cash costs
approximately $10 million in 2014. Those decreases will help to mitigate
cost increases from new revenue initiatives and other sources.
* Lee continues on track to achieve published guidance of 4.5-5.5% operating
expense reduction in 2013, excluding depreciation, amortization and unusual
matters. Since 2007, cash costs of continuing operations have been reduced
$271 million, or 34%, through LTM June 2013.
* "We are particularly proud of our track record of maintaining our cash flow,
in spite of revenue losses caused by macroeconomic and business conditions.
We have achieved nearly five straight years of stable EBITDA((1) ) and
Adjusted EBITDA," which totaled $163 million and $175 million, respectively,
through LTM June 2013, with EBITDA margin improving to 23.6%.
* Lee's EBITDA results have resulted in strong unlevered free cash flow((1)),
which totaled $156 million through LTM June 2013. Substantially all of that
cash flow is dedicated to debt service. Details are included in the appendix
to the presentation, which is available at lee.net.
* Lee was able to carry back 2012 tax losses, resulting in a tax refund of
$9.5 million in August 2013. Approximately $7 million of additional
carryback is available from taxes paid in 2011. "At current levels of
profitability, we don't expect to pay significant taxes for at least several
years, due to higher interest expense from refinancing and the tax impact of
the Chapter 11 process."
The text of the presentation and illustrations are available at lee.net.
Lee Enterprises is a leading provider of local news and information, and a major
platform for advertising, in its markets, with 46 daily newspapers and a joint
interest in four others, rapidly growing digital products and nearly 300
specialty publications in 22 states. Lee's newspapers have circulation of 1.2
million daily and 1.4 million Sunday, reaching nearly four million readers in
print alone. Lee's websites and mobile and tablet products attracted 21 million
unique visitors in June 2013. Lee's markets include St. Louis, MO; Lincoln, NE;
Madison, WI; Davenport, IA; Billings, MT; Bloomington, IL; and Tucson, AZ. Lee
Common Stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LEE. For
more information about Lee, please visit lee.net.
1. EBITDA, EBITDA margin, Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow are non-GAAP
(Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) financial measures. Explanations
and tables reconciling such amounts to the appropriate GAAP measure are
included in the appendix to the presentation, which is available at
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS -- The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995 provides a "safe harbor" for forward-looking statements. This presentation
contains information that may be deemed forward-looking that is based largely on
our current expectations, and is subject to certain risks, trends and
uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those
anticipated. Among such risks, trends and other uncertainties, which in some
instances are beyond our control, are our ability to generate cash flows and
maintain liquidity sufficient to service our debt, comply with or obtain
amendments or waivers of the financial covenants contained in our credit
facilities, if necessary, and to refinance our debt as it comes due. Other risks
and uncertainties include the impact and duration of continuing adverse
conditions in certain aspects of the economy affecting our business, changes in
advertising demand, potential changes in newsprint and other commodity prices,
energy costs, interest rates, labor costs, legislative and regulatory rulings,
difficulties in achieving planned expense reductions, maintaining employee and
customer relationships, increased capital costs, maintaining our listing status
on the NYSE, competition and other risks detailed from time to time in our
publicly filed documents. Any statements that are not statements of historical
fact (including statements containing the words "may", "will",
"believe", "expect", "anticipate", "intend",
"plan", "project", "consider" and
similar expressions) generally should be considered forward-looking statements.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking
statements, which are made as of the date of this presentation. We do not
undertake to publicly update or revise our forward-looking statements.
, (563) 383-2100
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Source: Lee Enterprises Inc. via Thomson Reuters ONE