Transcontinental Ends Fiscal 2013 with a Steady Performance
Ted Markle was appointed President of the Media Sector. Following his appointment, he revised the sector's organizational structure with the aim of reducing costs and increasing return on investment. We formed a strategic alliance with Zone3, further to which the latter will handle television production for TC Media's brands and which also provides for the merger of all our television production operations with those of Zone3. We successfully launched Véro, an inspiring women magazine, and four TC Media flagship brands on iPad: Coup de pouce, Canadian Living, ELLE Québec and Elle Canada. We successfully re-launched high-potential titles: Coup de pouce, Canadian Living and Western Living. In order to diversify our operations by capturing non advertising-related revenue streams, we acquired Groupe Modulo, a publisher of French-language educational materials. We launched the TC Media Incubator, a laboratory for the creation, development and incubation of new digital products. In addition, we introduced AutoGo.com and JobGO.ca, two new and innovative media platforms. In light of ongoing analysis in the Media Sector, we made the difficult decision to close More and Vita, which were no longer achieving expected results.
Fiscal 2013 was characterized by debt reduction, due to our significant cash flows and the amount of US$200 million received from the renegotiation of an agreement with Hearst Corporation. Our adjusted net indebtedness ratio improved from 1.32x as at October 31, 2012 to 0.91x as at October 31, 2013. During fiscal 2013, TC Transcontinental continued a multi-pronged approach to capital allocation. The Corporation focused on future growth by investing $74 million in property, plant and equipment and intangible assets as well as $25 million in strategic acquisitions. It also distributed cash to its shareholders through the payment of quarterly dividends of $52 million to holders of participating and preferred shares, the payment of a special dividend of $78 million to holders of participating shares and the repurchase of participating shares for a total amount of $12 million.