WatchCorus Entertainment posts net profit higher revenues in its second quarter

TORONTO — Corus Entertainment Inc. said Thursday it had an $86.8-million net loss in its second quarter, mostly because of a writedown of the value of some of its assets and because it didn’t see an expected improvement in advertiser confidence.The company — which has one of Canada’s largest collections of specialty television channels and radio stations — said that it won’t meet one of the targets provided to investors in November, when it expected advertising demand would improve.Corus said it was hit during the December-February quarter with “further economic headwinds” that affected advertising market confidence. It listed a number of factors including a weaker Canadian dollar since Jan. 1, continued low oil prices and the closure of large retail stores such as Target Canada, which announced in January it would close all its stores.“In summary, the company does not expect to achieve the low end of the segment profit guidance for the fiscal year (ending Aug. 31); however, free cash flow guidance remains unchanged,” Corus said in its report to shareholders.The Toronto-based company said its overall revenue during the quarter ended Feb. 28 was about the same as a year ago, with a decline in its radio segment offsetting an improvement at its television segment.Total revenue was $191.48 million, compared with $191.41 million a year before. Television revenue was $155.2 million, up from $152.1 million, while radio revenue dropped to $36.3 million from $39.3 million.The second-quarter loss amounted to $1.01 per share and compared with a profit of seven cents per share or $6.1 million in the second quarter of 2014.Much of the loss was due to a total of $130-million in writedowns of the value of goodwill — an asset related to past acqusitions — and its radio licences.“For the second quarter, certain radio clusters had actual results and revised cash flow projections tha fell short of previous estimates, which indicated that iterim broadcast licence and goodwill impairment testing was required in the radio segment,” the company said in a report to shareholders.“As a result of these tests, the company recorded broadcast licence impairment charges of $23 million and a goodwill impairment charge of $107 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2015.”Excluding the writedowns, restructuring costs and an investment gain, Corus had $28.5 million of adjusted net income, or 33 cents per share, up slightly from $26.8 million or 32 cents per share in the second quarter of the 2014 financial year.The Canadian Press read more

Auditor General red flags contractor awarded 18 selectively tendered contracts

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEvaluators falsify records to cover up delayed projectDecember 2, 2018In “Crime”PAC hears Auditor General’s report on ‘contract splitting racket’ at GECOMJune 5, 2017In “latest news”AG’s 2017 report unearths glaring discrepancies, corruption – PAC ChairNovember 5, 2018In “Business” Auditor General, Deodat Sharma18 contracts that were selectively tendered to one contractor in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) has been flagged to by the Auditor General for not being put through a competitive bidding process.For 2017, $459.6 million was allocated for repairs and maintenance of buildings and infrastructure in the region. The favoured contractor received 18 contracts worth some $59.1 million, which fell under a $90 million allocation for the drainage and irrigation component of the regional budget.The Auditor General made it clear that tenders for these 18 projects were not advertised publicly. Instead, the Regional Tender Board (RTB) claimed the contractor was procured through selective tendering.“The reason given in the RTB minutes for using this method of procurement in 10 cases was that the works were emergencies. No reason was given for using this method of procurement for the other eight contracts.”“Further, eight of the 10 contracts awarded by the RTB on September 7, 2017 and recorded on RTB minutes were valued at $21.5 million, but these contracts had no commencement and completion dates stated as a means of ensuring that works are completed within a stipulated time.”In response to this, the head of the budget agency noted that the cases were all “emergencies” and went on to explain that it was an oversight for the minutes to not include information on the commencement and completion dates. The head of the agency did promise that the omission would be corrected.The Audit Office however recommended that the regional administration ensure all contracts are awarded in accordance with the Procurement Act. In addition, it urged the region to ensure that all contracts are complete with commencement and completion dates to ensure proper monitoring and enforcing of penalties.Anti-corruption voices have repeatedly criticised the Government for sole sourcing contracts, under the guise of emergency works. In fact, the fallout from one sole sourced contract for a drug bond is believed to be behind aspects of a Cabinet reshuffle early last year.In May of last year, the parliamentary Opposition had fielded questions in the National Assembly to the Ministers of Public Health and Communities in relation to the public procurement practices being used by the Government.When a response came from Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan, it was revealed that nine out of 10 regions in Guyana did no public tendering for drugs and medical supplies between January 2016 and February 2017.In addition, all regions indicated that no prequalification process was followed. Procurement of drugs and medical supplies had all been done in the name of emergencies. A key Inter-American Development report (IDB) had recommended that countries in the Region, including Guyana, implement a number of measures aimed at improving public procurement.The report titled, ‘Better spending for better lives: How Latin America and the Caribbean can do more with less’, has identified poor procurement practices as a contributor to wasted public funds.Among its recommendations for countries in the region were for Governments to avoid single sourced contracts and concentrate on competitive bidding. In fact, it was advised that open tendering be the default method of procurement. read more