Monday 7 March 2011

Archant operating profits rise by more than 150%

Regional media publisher Archant has announced group operating profit for the year to December 21, 2010, up by more than 150%.

In a preliminary statement to shareholders, chairman Richard Jewson (top) said group operating profit for the year at £8.2m was up 157% (2009: £3.2m) while turnover reduced by 1.9% to £139.3m (2009: £142.0m).

Jewson said: “The impact of digital media on our traditional business has grown rapidly since broadband became mainstream and the economic downturn, which started in 2008, has served to accelerate that pace of change. Archant has faced the challenges presented by diversifying and repositioning its portfolio of media assets, by pursuing efficiencies, and by accelerating its business development activities to take advantage of the opportunities created.

“Digital revenue has grown throughout this difficult period, and we fully expect this to continue, as new initiatives are introduced and bear fruit.”

Newspaper like-for-like revenues for the year fell 5.9% to £92.6m, in part due to a significant reduction in public sector advertising, whilst magazines saw revenues increase 3.0% to £44.9m, assisted by progress in subscription copy sales, up 9.9% in the year and representing more than 50% of paid-for circulation.

Jewson added: “A notable achievement was that two of our daily newspaper titles and half the paid for weekly titles outside London achieved circulation growth in the second half of 2010 as compared to 2009. In England our two Norfolk daily titles, in terms of circulation, were the best performing regional newspapers whilst all four daily regional titles were in the top eight.”

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