Downturn hits Archant profits

Regional newspaper giant Archant has announced profits for the first half of the year down 8.9 per cent year on year.

But it has revealed strong growth in online advertising, up 63 per cent.

Total turnover for the six months was £93.6m (down from £98.5m a year ago) and profit before exceptional items was £13.1m (down from £14.5m).

Archant chairman Richard Jewson said: ‘We have entered a period of significant difficulty for the regional press, evidenced by share price movements of quoted peer companies, with both cyclical downturn and structural changes impacting the sector.

‘The depth and duration of the downturn is as yet unclear and we expect the difficult trading conditions to continue for at least the next year.”

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