Hacking costs, Operation Elveden and write-down push The Sun £253m into the red

The Sun and The Sun on Sunday made a loss of £253m in the year ending June 2015 after its parent company News Group Newspapers wrote down the value of The Sun by over £220m and paid out millions to former executives and in legal costs.

The £253m loss compares to a £67m loss the year before, according to accounts filed at Companies House by News Group Newspapers.

In total, News Group Newspapers was hit with £277 million in one-off charges in the period.

Without the one-off charges, the Rupert Murdoch-owned News Group Newspapers made an operating profit of £31.3m (compared with £35.6m a year earlier).

Broken down the one-off charges include include a £204 million write down in the value of The Sun. Specifially, the write down related to the publishing rights of The Sun's masthead.

On top of that, the company paid out £42m in costs relating to phone-hacking and the Operation Elveden inquiry into payments to public officials and £10m was paid out in relation to the Management and Standards Committee, the body which was set up to investigate legal matters relationg to the company in the aftermath of the phone-hacking scandal.

It also paid out £7.9 million to former directors in the period and £7.2 million after it cancelled its  long-term printing contact with Independent News and Media in Belfast.

Revenues were down from £489 million to £459 million in the period.

News Group Newspapers said that turnover was down due to the “continuing declne in newspaper circulation”.

However, it said this was partially offset by digital revenues at Sun+ digital operations, as well as the impact of cover price increases for The Sun on Sunday and The Sun’s Saturday edition.

According to ABC figures, the Sun’s newspaper weekday circulation was down nine percent on the year while the circulation of the Sun on Sunday was down 12 percent.

The Sun said that digital subscriptions to its digital operation Sun+ had reached 225,000 in November 2014. The Sun scrapped its paywall at the end of the last year and made its website free to access.

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