Lee Enterprises is on course with its digital transformation, judging by its Q4 and fiscal 2022 results.
The publisher, which now bills itself as a digital-first subscription platform, reported total digital revenue of $65 million in Q4, a 31% increase YoY. In contrast, overall revenue was flat at $194 million.
The results were similar for fiscal 2022: Total operating revenue was $781 million, down 2% from the prior year. But digital revenue grew by 27% to $240 million.
And, pointing to a new publishing model, the company reports that digital advertising and marketing services hit $181 million, a 28% increase over the prior year, and 50% of total ad revenue. That figure exceeded an updated guidance.
The company’s Amplified Digital agency helped fuel this growth, with revenue of $76 million, up 83% over the last year.
Also, Lee realized digital-only subscription revenue of $40 million, up 42% YoY, also over the guidance. The company now has 532,000 digital-only subscribers, also over guidance.
Lee reports a $6 million net loss for the fiscal year. The company made no material pension contributions.
Digital services revenue, mostly from TownNews, totaled $18 million in the year. TownNews revenue at TownNews totaled $31 million, a 14% increase over the previous year.
“Lee delivered strong fourth quarter and fiscal year 2022 results accelerating our execution of the Three Pillar Digital Growth Strategy,” states Kevin Mowbray, president and chief executive officer.
Lee successfully warded off a takeover by Alden Global Capital.