Regional newspaper group Archant has reported a drop in operating profit – down 6.8 per cent year-on-year to £29.5 million.
Chairman Richard Jewson said: “The company had produced a robust performance in challenging conditions. Whilst advertising revenues were still down on 2005, performance in the second half improved as the rate of decline in advertising revenue slowed.”
“Structural change in the regional press industry continues. Media fragmentation is also continuing within the industry, and we have sought to benefit from this by building on the audiences loyal to our titles by increasing our online presence.
“The results of this continuing programme of investment are encouraging – we are growing revenue and unique visitors to our sites have risen by 66 per cent over the year, with nearly 1.2 million unique visitors in January 2007.
“We expect conditions to remain challenging in 2007, with advertising demand likely to remain flat and costs, including salaries and newsprint, continuing to rise. We remain confident in the strength of our titles and the skills and commitment of our staff and we are determined to restore the Group’s record of growth as conditions improve.”