Speaking notes for Suzanne Morris, Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, at the Annual Public Meeting

October 23, 2013, Toronto


Thank you Hubert. Good afternoon. I’m pleased to be here today to provide you with a summary of the Corporation’s financial health and direction. Our annual report was provided to government on June 30th, as required, and will be made public once tabled in the House.

Let’s start with the fiscal year 2012–2013. Revenues were lower than in 2011–2012 following the hockey lockout. However, hockey has since returned stronger than ever with robust viewership and strong hockey revenues.

Our expenses for last year were down, reflecting a number of factors: we had lower production costs and spending on sports rights during the NHL lockout, and we implemented operating cost reductions across the organization in response to Federal Budget 2012 and Local Programming Improvement Fund reductions.

Overall, through sound management of expenses, we achieved a modest increase in net results for 2012–2013.

Now, turning to this year and results from our first quarter. These results – and our financial situation going forward – reflect the Corporation’s performance one year after beginning to deal with $200 million in financial pressures. This included reductions to our appropriation as part of Budget 2012.

For the first quarter of 2013−2014, results on a Current Operating Basis were close to breakeven. Overall, revenue increased by almost 1.0 per cent. Advertising revenue was higher as a result of strong hockey audiences, as previously mentioned. We also implemented new revenue-generating initiatives. Expenses were lower by 11.0 per cent as expected following our budget reductions.

Thanks to careful management, we have plans in place to ensure CBC/Radio-Canada continues to be positioned to deliver on its mandate and the objectives set out under Strategy 2015. To date, we are on track to meet our financial plans for the year. Ongoing success, however, will depend on sustainable funding, the strength of the advertising market and our overall revenue performance.

Looking ahead to Q2 and the balance of the year, we currently expect to achieve our overall revenue targets with programming that includes the Sochi Winter Olympics, which will increase both revenue and expenses this year. We look forward to once again bringing the Olympic Games home to Canadians.

We’ll also continue to closely monitor key developments. This includes ongoing discussions with the NHL in the interest of renewing the NHL broadcast rights contract, which ends in June 2014. In our 61st year, Hockey Night in Canada continues to connect Canadians from coast to coast to coast on a topic we’re all passionate about, and our objective is to keep this tradition alive.

Finally, Canadians will soon be able to access more fulsome information on our 2012–2013 financial results and performance indicators when our annual report is published this Fall. Past annual and quarterly reports are always available on our website.

Thank you and now back to you, Hubert.

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