PRIMEDIA LOSSES WIDEN IN FIRST QUARTER

Sale of Assets Continue as Troubled Publisher Pays Down Debt

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Troubled magazine publisher Primedia saw its losses continue to widen in the first quarter, blaming the effects of the advertising recession, particularly on its business-to-business publications.

Primedia's net loss grew to $139 million in the first quarter, from $5 million in the same period in 2001. Revenues rose 2.1% to $401.1 million, thanks to a boost from the acquisition of publisher Emap USA last August. Management, however, would not break Emap's revenue from the totals.

Consumer magazine revenue rose 18.2% to $345.4 million, thanks to Emap's contribution, while business-to-business magazine revenue dropped 22.2% to $89.9 million.

Rogers: No revenue growth
While Primedia Chairman-CEO

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Tom Rogers said the advertising recession appears to have bottomed out, he added Primedia's planning remains conservative and factors in no revenue growth for the year and no ad market recovery until 2003.

Meanwhile, the company is focused on holding down costs and reducing its debt load, he said.

Primedia has completed $160 million worth of a targeted $250 million in asset sales to raise cash for debt payoffs. Properties that have been sold include the Modern Bride Group, to Conde Nast Publications, and Bacon's Information, to Sweden's Observer AB.

He did not identify other titles on the block, but said the company is in discussions with several buyers, and further asset divestitures are expected to be completed mid-year.

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