Canada’s Baton B’casting Paints Modest Pictures

Baton Broadcasting, Canada’s most dominant player in private broadcasting, is modestly optimistic about its financial picture despite continued losses reported in the latest quarter.

Compared with the last year’s continuous losses, this quarter’s loss was not as bad, says Robin Fillingham, chief financial officer of Baton. The Toronto-based company reported a loss of just under $C3 million ($2.6 million) or C10.7 &cents; a share (9.3 &cents;), compared with more than $C3.2 million ($2.8 million) or C11.5 &cents; (10 &cents;) a share in losses a year ago when the public company plummeted into the red for the first time.

Profit for the six months ended Feb. 28 was just over $C1 million ($870,000 million) or $C3.6 &cents; (3.1 &cents;) per share, compared with $C4.2 million ($3.7 million) or $C15 &cents; (13 &cents;) for the same period a year earlier.

Baton’s chief financial officer says while cost reductions have slightly negated losses, getting back in the black will require an improvement in air time revenues.

“We’re basically looking at a flat year, with net income around a breakeven point,” Fillingham says.

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