Lee Enterprises Inc.: Lee Enterprises debt reduction two years ahead of plan
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona (October 1, 2013) -- Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE:
LEE) reduced debt by $98.5 million in its fiscal year ended September 29,
2013, reducing the balance to $847.5 million, two years ahead of its
In remarks prepared for a presentation Wednesday at the Deutsche Bank 21st
Annual Leveraged Finance Conference in Scottsdale, AZ, Mary Junck, Lee
chairman and chief executive officer, and Carl Schmidt, vice president, chief
financial officer and treasurer, said Lee expects to continue reducing
leverage over the next several years.
They also said:
*Lee's consolidated leverage has been reduced to approximately 4.9x
Adjusted EBITDA^(1) for the 53 weeks ended June 30, 2013 (LTM June
*Business transformation initiatives are expected to reduce cash costs
approximately $10 million in 2014. Those decreases will help to mitigate
cost increases from new revenue initiatives and other sources.
*Lee continues on track to achieve published guidance of 4.5-5.5% operating
expense reduction in 2013, excluding depreciation, amortization and
unusual matters. Since 2007, cash costs of continuing operations have been
reduced $271 million, or 34%, through LTM June 2013.
*"We are particularly proud of our track record of maintaining our cash
flow, in spite of revenue losses caused by macroeconomic and business
conditions. We have achieved nearly five straight years of stable
EBITDA^(1) and Adjusted EBITDA," which totaled $163 million and $175
million, respectively, through LTM June 2013, with EBITDA margin improving
*Lee's EBITDA results have resulted in strong unlevered free cash flow^(1),
which totaled $156 million through LTM June 2013. Substantially all of
that cash flow is dedicated to debt service. Details are included in the
appendix to the presentation, which is available at lee.net.
*Lee was able to carry back 2012 tax losses, resulting in a tax refund of
$9.5 million in August 2013. Approximately $7 million of additional
carryback is available from taxes paid in 2011. "At current levels of
profitability, we don't expect to pay significant taxes for at least
several years, due to higher interest expense from refinancing and the tax
impact of the Chapter 11 process."
The text of the presentation and illustrations are available at lee.net.
Lee Enterprises is a leading provider of local news and information, and a
major platform for advertising, in its markets, with 46 daily newspapers and a
joint interest in four others, rapidly growing digital products and nearly 300
specialty publications in 22 states. Lee's newspapers have circulation of 1.2
million daily and 1.4 million Sunday, reaching nearly four million readers in
print alone. Lee's websites and mobile and tablet products attracted 21
million unique visitors in June 2013. Lee's markets include St. Louis, MO;
Lincoln, NE; Madison, WI; Davenport, IA; Billings, MT; Bloomington, IL; and
Tucson, AZ. Lee Common Stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under
the symbol LEE. For more information about Lee, please visit lee.net.
1.EBITDA, EBITDA margin, Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow are non-GAAP
(Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) financial measures.
Explanations and tables reconciling such amounts to the appropriate GAAP
measure are included in the appendix to the presentation, which is
available at lee.net.
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS --The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995 provides a "safe harbor" for forward-looking statements. This
presentation contains information that may be deemed forward-looking that is
based largely on our current expectations, and is subject to certain risks,
trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially
from those anticipated. Among such risks, trends and other uncertainties,
which in some instances are beyond our control, are our ability to generate
cash flows and maintain liquidity sufficient to service our debt, comply with
or obtain amendments or waivers of the financial covenants contained in our
credit facilities, if necessary, and to refinance our debt as it comes due.
Other risks and uncertainties include the impact and duration of continuing
adverse conditions in certain aspects of the economy affecting our business,
changes in advertising demand, potential changes in newsprint and other
commodity prices, energy costs, interest rates, labor costs, legislative and
regulatory rulings, difficulties in achieving planned expense reductions,
maintaining employee and customer relationships, increased capital costs,
maintaining our listing status on the NYSE, competition and other risks
detailed from time to time in our publicly filed documents. Any statements
that are not statements of historical fact (including statements containing
the words "may", "will", "would", "could", "believe", "expect", "anticipate",
"intend", "plan", "project", "consider" and similar expressions) generally
should be considered forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to
place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are made as of
the date of this presentation. We do not undertake to publicly update or
revise our forward-looking statements.
Contact: email@example.com, (563) 383-2100
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applicable laws; and
(ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of
information contained therein.
Source: Lee Enterprises Inc. via Thomson Reuters ONE
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