Post Reports Profit Drop, Citing Katrina Damage

By Frank Ahrens
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 5, 2005

Hurricane Katrina's damage to The Washington Post Co.'s cable subsidiary dragged down the company's third-quarter earnings despite a rise in revenue, The Post Co. reported yesterday.

For the quarter, which ended Oct. 2, the company's net income was $66.6 million ($6.89 per share) on $873.7 million in revenue, down from $82.5 million in net income ($8.57) on $820 million in revenue in the corresponding period last year.

For the first nine months of 2005, the company reported $211.9 million in net income ($21.93) on $2.61 billion in revenue, down from $226.8 million in net income ($23.54) on $2.4 billion in revenue.

About 94,000 subscribers of Cable One Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Post, were in Katrina's wake along the Gulf Coast. The company said the hurricane caused a $9.9 million loss of property, cost $4.2 million in cleanup and was responsible for $4.4 million in lost subscriber revenue. Third-quarter revenue was up 5 percent in the newspaper division compared with last year, to $235.5 million. The Post's circulation continued its slide, losing an average of 3.9 percent over the first nine months of 2005. Post daily circulation now stands at 681,600, with Sundays at 974,900.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company