Newspaper publisher Archant has reported 29.4 per cent drop in operating profit in the last financial year to £10.4m
Turnover in the year to 31 December was down 3 per cent from £139.3m to £135.1m, while operating cash flow remained stable at £13.1m and net debt was reduced by a quarter to £17.4m – the company said.
The company did, however, report a much stronger performance in the second half of the year. In the six months to 31 December group operating profit was said to be up 1.6 per cent to £7.8m on turnover down 2 per cent to £67.8m.
In a preliminary statement to shareholders, chairman Richard Jewson said: ‘Despite very difficult trading conditions, Archant has continued to invest significantly, both in revenue and in capital, to pursue its strategy of developing a customer-centric, multimedia organisation.
‘With little or no support foreseeable from the economy, it is the actions of the management that will enable us to take advantage of new and emerging revenue streams whilst optimising the existing business.’
Archant is not a Plc but is largely family-owned with a number of other shareholders so does not publish accounts to the stock-market.
In the last year the company has announced redundancies at its newspaper operations in Suffolk.
In January it unveiled a new ‘community news platform’called iwitness24 which urged readers to submit photos, stories and videos direct to its newsrooms across the UK.
Last April it announced a restructure of its local newspaper divisions that resulted in two regional managing directors leaving the company, Stephan Phillips, managing director of Archant Norfolk, and Stuart McCreery, managing director of Archant Suffolk, Herts & Cambs.
Archant’s Newspaper titles include the Eastern Daily Press, Norwich Evening News and Ipswich Star.
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