Corus refi cuts into income

Drop attributed to $117 mil debt refinancing charge

TORONTO — Debt refinancing took a bite out of TV and radio broadcaster Corus Entertainment’s bottom line for the year.

The Toronto-based firm posted net income for the year ended Aug. 31 of C$35.5 million ($31.6 million,) down from $63.3 million in fiscal 2005. The drop was attributed to a $117.6 million debt refinancing charge in the second quarter. Income tax rate changes brought in $33 million, however, partially offsetting the refinancing.

Revenue for the year was up 6% to $608.5 million. On the TV side, specialty ad growth of 14% and subscriber growth of 10% brought revenue up 11% to $350.4 million. Radio revenue climbed 6% to $239.1 million.

The content division, which includes toon and merchandise producer Nelvana, saw revenue tumble 12% to $64.2 million. Fewer episodes were delivered this year than last, and “Beyblade” merchandising revenue has been slipping. The company noted that the division continues to generate positive cashflow, however.

This month Corus pinkslipped 83 employees and shuttered offices in L.A., the U.K and Edmonton, as it reshuffled its animation and broadcasting units, splitting Nelvana into Nelvana Studios (for tots) and Nelvana Enterprises (for adults). The company’s Movie Central pay TV web now operates exclusively out of Toronto.

Revenue for the quarter was up 6% to $164.8 million, with net income of $41.5 million, compared to $8.6 million a year ago. The boost came thanks to the $33 million income tax rate change.

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