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Champion losses deepen in 2012

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Champion Industries, a Huntington-based printing, office supply and newspaper publishing company, on Jan. 29 announced a net loss from continuing operations of $23.5 million for the fiscal year that ended Oct. 31.

That was down from the net loss from continuing operations of $4.2 million for fiscal 2011.

For the fourth quarter, the loss was $1.4 million, an improvement from the net loss of $5.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The company attributed the 2012 loss primarily to pre-tax non-cash impairment related charges associated with goodwill of $9.5 million and trade name and masthead in the amount of $1.6 million and an increase in the deferred tax asset valuation allowance of approximately $15.6 million primarily related to taxes associated with continuing operations.

The impairments are associated with the acquisition of The Herald-Dispatch daily newspaper in 2007. The 2012 results were also unfavorably impacted by various costs associated with legal fees and costs and professional fees, resulting in part from provisions related to the various forbearance and credit agreements with Champion's secured lenders, according to the quarterly earnings report.

"If we examine our gross profit, which is a key starting point for profitability, our gross profit dollars were $30.9 million in 2012 and $31.2 million in 2011, which is essentially flat. In other words, in spite of the numerous hurdles, challenges and actions we have taken in 2012, in the final analysis we were able to essentially hold our core business stable," Marshall T. Reynolds, Champion's chairman and CEO said in the earnings release.

"In 2013 we are continuing to review operations and will adjust where necessary. In addition, we intend to work with our secured creditors and advisors to address our debt maturities and liquidity to the best of our ability."