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Taxman takes a big bite of Corus

Change in provincial rates increase income tax expense

TORONTO — Despite a healthy boost in revenues, Corus Entertainment posted a shrinking bottom line for the fiscal first quarter Thursday after the taxman took a bigger bite than usual out of the Toronto-based media and entertainment company.

Consolidated revenues for the quarter ended Nov. 30 were up 11% at C$185 million ($142.7 million) on a strong specialty television ad market. Advertising grew by 20% in the quarter, and at the company’s adult specialty networks, ad revenue rose 40%. TV revs were up 11% to $72.6 million, content up 36% at $2.0 million and radio up 2% to $46.8 million.

“We continued the positive momentum of last year in our first quarter results,” said prexy-CEO John Cassaday. “Excellent ad growth from specialty television, solid expense control in radio and continued strong ‘Beyblade’ results coupled with a disciplined business approach from our content division were the major contributors to our strong results.”

Corus owns broadcast and merchandising rights to the Japanese anime sensation “Beyblade,” and continued strong merchandising sales led Corus’ branded consumer products division to post a 150% increase in revenue for the quarter to $12.5 million.

Net income for the quarter dropped 31% to $4.4 million, however, after a change in provincial tax rates increased Corus’ income tax expense and future tax liability to $13.7 million.

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