Local World reports £240m turnover and £18.5m operating profit for first year

Local World has reported a turnover of £239.6m and an operating profit of £18.5m for its first-year financial results.

Adjusted profits for the regional publisher, founded in January 2013, stood at £38.9m for the year, meaning that shareholders Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) and Trinity Mirror yielded a combined profit of nearly £23m.

DMGT owns 38.73 per cent of shares, meaning its slice of the £38.9m adjusted profit was £15m, and Trinity Mirror owns 19.98 per cent, meaning a profit of £7.8m.

According to the annual report and financial statements document, Local World’s print advertising revenues for the year were £143.3m, while circulation revenue was £60.3m. Digital revenue stood at £20.2m.

Reacting to the figures, the National Union of Journalists criticised Local World for £1.3m paid to chief executive Steve Auckland, who left in October last year.

The union also highlighted a £1.1m provision in the accounts for paying a “senior executive long-term incentive plan” and the fact the “strategic report has no mention of newspapers and states the aim to transform the company into a ‘digitised transactional business’”. 

Chris Morley, NUJ Northern & Midlands organiser, said:

Local World is a new company born without the twin millstones of historic debt and pension fund deficit to drag it down so its future should look bright.

"Indeed, the £18.5m operating profits show newspapers do continue to make big money as digital revenues were still less than a tenth of the total revenue. Yet the company’s declared strategy does not earmark any place for newspapers and instead David Montgomery merely seeks to transform Local World into a ‘digitised transaction business’.

"And the same old boardroom greed that helped bring the industry to its knees is obviously alive and well with former chief executive Steve Auckland walking off with most of £1.3 million for less than a year’s work. Those journalists who have sweated hard to make the company a first-year success with only slim wage packets to show for it find this impossible to swallow."

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