Major b-to-b media companies post first-quarter losses

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New York and Cleveland--Continuing to suffer from the ad slump, Primedia Inc. and Penton Media Inc. Wednesday reported first-quarter losses.

Primedia Inc., which publishes more than 280 titles in both the b-to-b and consumer spaces, lost $139.6 million, or 65 cents a share including charges, in the first quarter, compared with a loss of $85.8 million, or 54 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenues dipped to $412.1 million from $414.2 million.

Penton, whose trade shows have been hurt by the slump in the tech sector, lost $4.6 million, or 14 cents a share, compared with net income of $2.4 million, or 8 cents a share, a year earlier. The results exclude goodwill amortization, in accordance with a new accounting rule that went into effect Jan 1.They also were affected by the shift of two of the company's trade shows to the second quarter this year, from the first quarter last year. First-quarter revenue slid to $63.2 million, from $112.7 million a year earlier. Penton is now projecting 2002 revenue of $280 million to $310 million, compared with its previous forecast of $320 million to $350 million.

--Matthew Schwartz

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