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May 04, 2000 06:14pm
Playboy Q1 loss widens due to online investments
Source: Reuters/Variety

(CHICAGO, IL) -- Adult Entertainment company Playboy Enterprises Inc. said Thursday net losses widened in the first quarter primarily due to increased investments planned in its online business.

The publisher of Playboy magazine reported a net loss of $6.2 million, or 26 cents per basic and diluted share, compared to a net loss of $1.0 million, or 5 cents, in the same period last year.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were $4.6 million in the first quarter, compared to EBITDA of $6.4 million in the year earlier period.

The company said the planned $3.8 million increase in investments in its online business was the major contributor to the operating loss increase to $6.3 million in the first quarter, on top of an operating loss of $2.0 million in the previous year's quarter. Revenues were essentially flat.

Excluding the online business, EBITDA for the 2000 quarter was $10.1 million versus $8.4 million a year earlier.

Playboy Online's revenues more than doubled in the first quarter to $5.8 million versus a year ago. E-commerce revenues more than tripled to $3.7 million, partially due to the inclusion of Playboy and Spice direct marketing revenues previously reported in catalog group results.

In January, Playboy.com Inc., part of the Playboy Online group, filed a registration statement to sell a minority of its equity in an initial public offering. Completion of the offering is pending market conditions, the company said.

The company's entertainment group, which operates the Playboy and Spice television networks, reported first quarter EBITDA of $13.1 million, up 27 percent. Revenues for the quarter rose 11 percent to $22.6 million, reflecting growth in domestic and international television, the company said.

The publishing group, including Playboy magazine, reported first quarter EBITDA of $1.8 million, compared to $2.0 million a year ago, on a 4 percent decline in revenues to $32.1 million. Circulation revenues fell 16 percent from last year, when the company had a best-selling issue featuring Rena Mero, the World Wrestling Federation champion and character formerly known as Sable.

Playboy stock ended 2/16 higher at 16 11/16 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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