Archant delivers profit boost in first half results

Regional newspaper publisher Archant has posted improved profits and revenue for the first half of 2007.

In an interim statement last week, the publisher of the East Anglian Daily Times and Norwich Evening News announced that its overall revenue was up 2.1 per cent at £98.5m and total operating profit was up 8.6 per cent to £10m.

Chief Executive John Fry said the figures show that negative sentiments about the newspaper industry were misplaced.

‘The challenge is greater than it has been but that doesn’t mean that the sector is fundamentally flawed,” Fry said.

‘Archant has put considerable strategic focus on changing our business to deal with changes in local market places.”

The company said is had improved its business by offering classified advertising sites tied to its print and online products, something it said cannot be offered by internet-only competitors.

Fry said: ‘We have demonstrated that tight cost control, on the low growth areas of the business, allows you to invest in higher growth activities. Our web audiences are growing in excess of 50 per cent a year. The advertising revenue we generate from those audiences is also growing. Our local magazine business is showing audience growth, revenue growth, and an increasing number of the titles delivering profits as they become established.”

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