Telegraph profits climb 29% to £53m in 2009

Telegraph Media Group, owner of the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, recorded a pre-tax profit of £53.1m last year.

The company said today the return to the black marked a ‘significant turnaround’from a pre-tax loss of £15.7m in made in 2008, when restructuring costs of £47.1m forced it into the red.

The 2009 pre-tax figure included an exceptional profit of £13.2m and net interest payable of £1.5m, the company said today as it made public aspects of its financial statements for the 53 weeks to 3 January.

The additional week in 2009 contributed additional turnover of £4.3m and additional operating profit of £2.1m, the company said.

On a like for like basis, turnover fell by 8.9 per cent and operating profit, which was £41.4m over the 53 week period, increased by £9.4m.

The rise in operating profit constituted a 22.8 per cent increase, on a like for like basis, on 2008 when it was £32.0m over 52 weeks.

Turnover for the period, reflecting the severity of the economic downturn and the impact on advertising revenues, was £317m, a decline of 7.7 per cent, TMG said.

The company said: “Circulation revenues proved resilient, underpinned by an extremely strong and loyal subscriber base”.

It added: “Despite the recessionary pressures on revenues – and a steep increase in newsprint prices at the start of 2009 – a tight control on costs, alongside the benefits flowing from the successful integration of the print and on-line businesses begun in 2007, enabled the group to achieve this 29 per cent profit increase.”

Financial statements were filed with Companies House yesterday, TMG said. The full document has yet to be made available on the Companies House website.

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