Lee cuts debt 2 years ahead of schedule

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Associated Press

Posted on October 1, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 1 at 3:02 PM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises Inc. says it has cut its debt to $847.5 million, two years ahead of a schedule outlined in its reorganization plan.

The publisher of the St. Louis Post Dispatch and other newspapers says the company cut its debt by $98.5 million in the fiscal year through September 29.

CEO Mary Junck announced the results in prepared remarks Tuesday ahead of an investors conference in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The progress comes nearly two years after Lee emerged from pre-packaged bankruptcy in January 2012.

Lee said cost cutting helped the company cope with a mild decline in revenue and contributed to steady cash flow. Digital advertising and subscriptions are growing, partially offsetting a decline in print ad sales.

Lee shares rose 8 cents, or 3 percent, to $2.72 in after-hours trading.

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