Gannett’s Profits Plummet 60 Percent

Gannett Co., the U.S.’s largest newspaper publisher, reported a 60 percent decline in first-quarter profits today and a 34 percent drop in advertising revenue, a decline the company said in its earnings statement is accelerating, not slowing.

Gannett’s net profit last quarter was 77.7 million dollars, down from 191.8 million in Q1 2008. Revenue fell as well, though not by as big a margin: the company took in 1.4 million this quarter compared to 1.7 million the same time last year.

The company reported earnings of 25 cents per share, one penny more than analysts had predicted, which shot the company’s stock up 7 percent this morning to $3.76.

In the earnings statement, the company referred to the numbers of ways it had cut costs: through layoffs last year and implementing mandatory one-week furloughs. But the company did not allude to any more impending cuts, which may be good news for employees of USA Today and other papers.