Archant boss Jewson warns of newspaper ad downturn as profits plunge

Dominic Ponsford
 
Archant is the latest newspaper publisher to warn of tough conditions in the
advertising market as it revealed interim pre-tax profits down 19.5 per
cent.
 
Its follows a similarly gloomy summary of
advertising conditions from the biggest regional newspaper group
Trinity Mirror last week.
 
Archant publishes four daily newspapers, 85 weeklies and 75 regional
and specialist magazines. It reported turnover for the six months to
July 2 up 7.5 per cent to £99.2 million but pre-tax profits were down
19.5 per cent to £13.3 million.
 
According to company chairman Richard Jewson pre-tax profits were down
due to the £1.5 million interest charge on a 2004 scheme to buy back
£52 million of shares. He also blamed exceptional restructuring costs
and a payment into the pension fund which together cost £1.1
million.
 
Jewson added: “Since strong trading in January, the market,
particularly in recruitment and motors, has tightened and these figures
reflect the impact of a difficult trading period. While the Archant
board is taking a cautious view of the immediate outlook for
advertising revenue, we have a range of tremendously strong titles and
we have a committed staff throughout the Group to enable us to rise to
the challenge.”

 

Magazine divisions, Archant Specialist and Archant Life, made turnover
of £21.0m and profits of £1.4 million.
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