Penton announces net loss of $12M for Q4 2003

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Cleveland--Hurt by continued weakness in two of its key sectors, technology and manufacturing, Penton Media reported Thursday a net loss for the fourth quarter of 2003 of $12.0 million compared with net income of $12.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2002. Revenues for the fourth quarter totaled $47.3 million compared with $63.8 million in the same period of 2002. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was $3.1 million compared with $5.3 million in the 2002 period

Penton said its fourth-quarter 2003 results were impacted by a shift in timing of two trade shows that ran in the fourth quarter in 2002 but were held in the third quarter of 2003. Penton said results were also affected by a modest tax benefit in fourth-quarter 2003 compared with a $30.8 million tax benefit in fourth-quarter 2002.

After adjusting for trade show shifts and the sale of media properties, revenues in the fourth quarter declined 10.7%, or $5.7 million, and adjusted EBITDA increased to $3.1 million from $2000,000 in the year-ago fourth quarter. Revenues for the year were $206.3 million, a 12.3% decline from 2002. Penton posted a 2003 net loss of $87.8 million compared with a net loss of $286.3 million in 2002.

"Although business conditions appear to be stabilizing during the first quarter, customers in several segments we serve continue to spend cautiously on marketing, travel, and education and training--areas that directly affect our performance," Thomas L. Kemp, Penton’s chairman-CEO, said in a statement.

--Sean Callahan

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