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Gannett Posts Higher Earnings, Boosted By Advertising Demand

Gannett posted higher fourth quarter profit on Friday, boosted by advertising demand at its newspapers and a rise in political ad sales at its TV stations.

The publisher of USA Today said its fourth quarter profit rose to $353.5 million, or $1.51 a share, from $343.3 million, or $1.44 a share in the year earlier period.

Revenue rose 7.5% to $2.2 billion.

Wall Street expected a profit per share of $1.49 and revenue of $2.15 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

Advertising demand in its newspaper and broadcasting divisions were both higher in the quarter, the company said.

Newspaper group revenue rose 5% to $1.94 billion. Ad sales rose 3.7% to $1.45 billion in the division, lifted by local and national ad sales.

But higher newsprint costs and other expenses pushed quarterly operating profit at the newspaper group down 4.5% to $472.6 million.

Broadcasting division revenue rose 30.3% to $270.6 million, boosted by political ad spending. Gannett said "substantially higher online revenue" also contributed to the growth, but did not break out results.

Broadcasting operating profit rose 35% to $135.2 million in the quarter.

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