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Playboy Takes a Smaller 1Q Loss Than Expected; Revenue of Print Division Continues to Plummet

Hey, but they’re losing a lot less.

from www.businessweek.com – Playboy’s parent company said Thursday it took a smaller first-quarter loss as restructuring costs and write-downs decreased, but revenue in its print division — especially at its iconic magazine — continued to fall.

In the first quarter, Playboy Enterprises Inc. lost $1 million, or 3 cents per share. Its revenue fell 15 percent, to $52.1 million from $61.6 million, including a 30-percent drop in print and digital revenue. U.S. revenue from Playboy magazine shrank by almost half.

The two analysts who report estimates to Thomson Reuters expected a loss of 8 cents per share and revenue of $57.2 million.

A year ago, the company lost $13.7 million, or 41 cents per share. That loss included $8.7 million, or 26 cents per share, in restructuring and write-down expenses. The first quarter of 2009 included a 21.5 percent drop in revenue.

Print and digital revenue plunged to $18.2 million in the most recent period, with domestic revenue from the magazine down 47 percent to $7.1 million, the company said. But the loss of $1.1 million in the print and digital division was far smaller than the $3.6 million it lost a year ago.

TV revenue slipped to $24 million from $26.2 million, and licensing revenue rose to $9.9 million from $9.3 million.

CEO Scott Flanders said the company is getting its costs under control.

“Our goal is to transition Playboy to a brand management company, and our first priority is to outsource, partner or license those of our operations that can be more efficiently handled by other companies,” he said.

The broader markets traded sharply lower Thursday afternoon over concerns about the economic crisis in Greece. Playboy shares lost 13 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $4.12.

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