Washington Post Income Dropped 58% in 2011

The Washington Post Company reported its fourth quarter earnings, capping off a rough year for Don Graham & Co.

Save the Washington Post’s Facebook app, the Social Reader, it has been a troublesome business year for the company, a year that finally ended Friday as the Post reported its fourth quarter and year-end earnings.

The company announced net income of $116.2 million for the 2011 fiscal year, a decline of 58 percent from the year before, while income for just the fourth quarter dipped 22 percent to $61.7 million.

Revenue for both the year and the quarter declined 10 percent, to $4.2 and $1.06 billion respectively. Business was down at the education, newspaper publishing and television broadcast divisions, with the cable television department serving as a lone bright spot.

The Company has reported down earnings all year as its Kaplan higher education unit strains to meet new governmental regulations, cutting off the company’s main pipeline of revenue and profits.

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Income at the division plummeted 74 percent on the year to $89.4 million, while income for the quarter was half of what it was a year ago. Revenue at the education division dropped 14 percent on the year to $2.47 billion and 14 percent for the quarter to $597 million.

“In light of recent revenue declines and other business challenges, Kaplan has formulated and implemented restructuring plans at its various businesses that have resulted in significant costs in 2010 and 2011, with the objective of establishing lower cost levels in future periods,” the company said in its earnings release.

The newspaper part of the business reported an operating loss of $18.2 million for the year, about twice as big a loss as a year ago. For the quarter, the division reported income of $7.4 million, a 63 percent drop.

Revenue for the year declined just five percent to $648 million, but all types of advertising revenue were in the red for the year. Print advertising revenue fell 11 percent while display online ad revenue fell 11 percent and classified fell two percent.

Income from the cable television division was down slightly for the year, but up 11 percent in the quarter.