News International magazine losses will not stop planned new launches

The consumer magazine division of News International made a loss of almost £10m last year, but has said it remains committed to new launches.

News Magazines, which publishes Love It! and The Sunday Times Travel magazine, said ‘challenging’advertising conditions were a contributing factor after it posted a loss of £9.97m in the year ending 30 June 2007, based on revenue of £12.2m.

During this period, the group beat John Brown Publishing to the Sky magazine contract – Britain’s biggest circulation title, which is sent to 7.2 million Sky customers.

Although start-up costs for Skymag are included in this latest set of accounts, which were filed at Companies House, the costs associated with the title’s launch in August 2007 will not be made public until next year.

The company called time on its glossy monthly interiors title, Inside Out, in March last year after 10 months, and scrapped plans to launch a new women’s weekly, codenamed Project Lola.

‘In common with other magazine groups, the company faces challenging circulation and advertising environments, through economic pressures and competitor titles,’the company said.

‘[We are] addressing ongoing circulation challenges through regional marketing and pricing initiatives and continuous product improvement.”

News Magazines currentlyhas 82 staff, half of whom are in editorial. Despite posting a loss for the second consecutive year, the company said it would continue investing in research and development for new titles.

‘The company is actively developing new titles, which require editorial development and research, plus substantial investment to launch, which is an inherently risky activity,’it said.

News of the losses at News Magazines coincides with the publication of the 2006/7 accounts for all of News International’s publishing businesses.

News Group, which publishes The Sun and the News of the World, saw operating profits fall 9.3 per cent to £10.7m, on revenue down 3.1 per cent to £623m.

Times Newspapers narrowed its losses from £81.5m to £44m. Turnover rose slightly from £436m to £447m.

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