Northern and Shell profits up despite losses at OK! in US

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Pre-tax profits at Northern & Shell have ballooned from £5.16m to £54.9m, the Financial Times is reporting today.

The company owned by Richard Desmond publishes the Express and Star newspaper titles and celebrity magazine OK! in addition to its adult pay-TV services and publications. The group’s full-year figures are filed with Companies House today. They show turnover up 5.3 per cent at £485m, the FT reports. The company’s UK publishing arm, largely consisting of the Express Newspapers titles, increased its operating profits 8.2 per cent to £58.8m.

The increased profits came in spite of mounting losses at the US edition of OK, which were largely offset by the sale of the group’s share in the Australian version of the title. The figures were helped by Desmond taking a £40 million cut in his own pay and pension contributions.

The company, however, approve the purchase of a £17 million corporate jet, which the company said was necessary because of its growing international operations.

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