Archant reaps rewards of buoyant local news and magazine market

The expansion of its lucrative series of county-style magazines and a strong performance from regional newspapers has helped boost profits at Archant.

The Norwich-based company, owned by a number of private shareholders, revealed this week that operating profit for the six months to June was up 16.2 per cent to £16.4m on turnover up 19.3 per cent to £92.3m.

Archant produces four daily papers in East Anglia, and more than 85 weeklies throughout the UK.

Newspaper and printing operating profit rose 18.9 per cent to £18.4m on turnover up 18.3 per cent to £78m.

Archant Life, which publishes 17 regional magazines such as Devon Life and Yorkshire Life, was boosted by the addition of Brighton and Hove Life to the portfolio. Profits in the division were £500,000 up on the same period last year.

In December Archant acquired 27 mainly London-based newspapers from Independent News and Media for £62m. Last week the deal was given the provisional go-ahead by the Competition Commission.

This part of this business was said to have generated revenue of £8.7m and £1.8m operating profit for the sixmonth period.

Archant chairman Richard Jewson said: “Given a strong economy and the group’s progress in the first half of the year, the board expects that continued growth can be achieved in the second half. We look forward to the conclusion of the Competition Commission’s inquiry in October and we continue to consider a range of growth opportunities.”

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