Home > Industry stuff > Glacier earned $25.7 million in 2011: a hilarious (annotated) financial report

Glacier earned $25.7 million in 2011: a hilarious (annotated) financial report

March 30, 2012

Glacier Media released its 2011 financial report yesterday, which shows the company earned $25.7 million last year on more than $267 million of revenue.

That’s up nearly double from 2010, when the Glacier made $13.58 million for its shareholders. In 2009, it made $13.92 million.

Find the annual report (and attached company-designated highlights) here. Or read below for an annotated version.

The report states:

Glacier’s local community newspapers revenue continued to grow during the year. The growth resulted from the combination of the economic strength experienced in Western Canada, the nature of media in the small markets in which Glacier operates, and strong operational focus and effort.

The growth in revenue was realized in both print and digital revenues, and underscores the value of Glacier’s small market community newspapers, which offer a unique selling proposition and competitive advantage through the local information that they provide, of which they are a primary source. The value of Glacier’s local community content is now being provided to Glacier’s readers in print and online, by tablet and smartphone platforms [BC Reporter: Even if they are bug-ridden and essentially useless]. Glacier is in the early stages of the development of this digital community media strategy. This timing has been geared to be proactive while aligning operating cost investment with market needs. The timing also means that significant digital revenue opportunities still exist to be realized. [BC Reporter translation: “We’ve been slow to react but now we’re playing catch up and trying to make money we should have been raking in for the last three years.“] Given that the demand for local community information is expected to exist for the long term, Glacier expects to be able to leverage and monetize the information and marketing value through advertising and other revenue sources for the long term. As 85% of Glacier’s local newspaper distribution is free, this also provides for a more durable reach of readership for advertisers over time wherein total market coverage can always be provided.

Same-store consolidated revenue growth for Glacier was 3.1% for 2011. Growth slowed in the fourth quarter of 2011 in some of Glacier’s local newspaper markets due primarily to softer national advertising. Growth has been varied in the first few months of 2012 for some of Glacier’s community media operations, but has been stronger in the trade and business and professional information operations. It appears that the global economic uncertainty has resulted in cautiousness amongst some national and other advertisers, although local advertising has generally held up well.


Cost reduction measures continue to be implemented consistent with management’s strategy of maintaining strong product and editorial quality while reducing operating costs where possible through initiatives that do not impact quality, sales capacity or market and competitive positions. Management is being careful to maintain appropriate levels of resources in staff and technology as well as business development in order to facilitate long-term revenue growth. [Translation: “Be happy! We’ve cut costs, but the people we’ve fired have been useless.”]


The EBITDA results were achieved while increased operating investment was made in digital media, senior management, staff, information technology and related resources, as well as other content and quality related areas. [Translation: “I know we just said we cut costs, but we also hired some people and gave senior management (who, by the way, are doing a really, really great job) a nice raise. You wouldn’t want them to go work somewhere else, would you? …? Yeah, that’s what we thought.] The increase in Glacier’s consolidated revenue has both allowed these investments to be made and has been in part a result of the digital investments already made.

These investments were made consistent with Glacier’s complementary media platform strategy. This strategy is geared to address both the risks that digital media represents to the traditional print platform and the opportunities digital media offers in Glacier’s local community and business and trade information markets. The strategy is based upon the premise that customer utility and value should drive the structuring of platform utilization. Online, mobile, tablet and other information delivery devices will be fully utilized, while print content and design quality will also be fully maintained. While the digital platforms offer many attractive new opportunities, the print platform continues to offer effective utility to both readers and advertisers. Maintaining strong print products also maintains strong brand image and awareness, which increases the likelihood of success online. Studies of time spent across media platforms and reader satisfaction support the premise of the complementary platform strategy. Management expects that customer utility will vary over time and will be affected by what Glacier and other media providers can creatively provide. Management believes that the pursuit of a complementary platform strategy will be prudent for the foreseeable future, and will maximize revenue and profit generation. [Translation: “We know you’re obsessed about the online shit, but print is still our bread and butter.”]

Given the increased cash flow resulting from operational growth, the acquisitions completed and the strong level of cash flow overall, an increasing portion of the Company’s cash flow can be returned to shareholders in the future through increased dividends. The Company also intends to repurchase shares as deemed attractive and prudent. [BC Reporter translation: “More money for shareholders! Make it rain, homies!

As indicated, significant focus and related investment will continue to be made to enhance Glacier’s digital trade and business and professional information verticals, through both organic development and the acquisition of new businesses. These acquisitions will be targeted to expand the markets that Glacier covers, expand the breadth of information products and marketing solutions provided, and to expand Glacier’s digital media staff [from two people to three?: BC Reporter], technology and other relevant resources.

Alright. That was a tad snarky, but when all is said and done, it’s fairly good news for all journalists, since Black Press is probably operating in the same economy (Although David Black’s obsession with buying fucked-up American papers would scare the fuck out of me if he delegated the signing of my paycheques).

  1. Anonymous
    April 4, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Hey reporter, I’m a long time listener, first time caller, love your show. No has mentioned the elephant in the room that reporters from Glacier and Black have been whispering about thus far. Namely, do you think there is a deal in the works between the two titans that will see some papers bought, sold, exchanged between the two, or are they in each others back yards now going head to head in a bigger way than they ever did before?

    • April 5, 2012 at 12:36 am

      I have no clue. Haven’t heard much of that myself, but you never know. If they exchanged papers then they would necessarily need to merge some, which seems like a scary proposition. Seems like swapping papers to obtain monopolies in various communities would risk breaching anti-trust legislation (assuming we have such rules in Canada). If forced to lay down some money, I would bet (modestly) on the status quo for the time being.

  1. No trackbacks yet.
Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: