With observers speculating that Ziff Davis Media may be on the block, the company yesterday released a gloomy first quarter earnings report showing revenue and EBITDA down while net loss increased, attributed in large part to the closure of several print magazines and an overall drop in print advertising revenue.
Consolidated revenue fell 6 percent or $2.4 million to $40.3 million in the first quarter of 2006 compared to the same period last year. The company said that approximately $0.9 million of the print revenue drop was attributable to discontinued magazines.
Revenue fell at each business group, with the Consumer Small Business Group (which includes PC Magazine, DigitalLife–a consumer electronics event and several consumer Web sites including PCMag.com) down five percent to $13.6 million; the Enterprise Group (which includes three magazines in eWeek, Baseline and CIO Insight and the company’s Custom Solutions Group) down 8 percent to $16.8 million; and the Game Group (which includes Electronic Gaming Monthly, Computer Gaming World and Official U.S. Playstation Magazine) down 2.9 percent to $9.9 million for the first quarter.
EBITDA fell 37 percent to $2.7 million, down from $4.3 million in the first quarter of 2005. Net loss increased from $26.3 million to $33.5 million while long-term debt increased to $362.3 million.
Industry sources have told Folio that in recent weeks that Ziff has sought bids from banks for managing a possible sale (ABM Meeting Buzz: Ziff on the Block). In 2000, private equity firm Willis Stein bought Ziff Davis for $780 million, a price it’s unlikely to reach should it place the company on the block.