Times and Sunday Times pre-tax profits surge ahead to £11m

Times Newspapers, the publisher of The Times and The Sunday Times, has swung into the black and made a pre-tax profit of £10.9 million in the year ending 28 June 2015.

The £10.9 million pre-tax profit compares to the £935,000 loss the News UK-owned titles reported the year previously, according to accounts filed at Companies House. The pre-tax figure includes all exceptional gains and costs so is seen as the best measure of a company's health.

Revenues at Times Newspapers were £345 million, slightly down on the £347 million the year previous.

The jump in profits is partly attributed to a rise in the number of paid subscribers to The Times and The Sunday Times print and digital packages.

The Times and Sunday Times shifted its digital news content behind a paywall in July 2010, in a move which split it from rivals such as the free news content offered by The Guardian. Guardian Media Group has said it is expecting to report a £58.6m loss for the year to the end of March.

Paid digital subscribers were down by six per cent to 147,000 at The Times and up one per cent to 158,000 for The Sunday Times in the period, the company said.

Total paying subscribers across and print print and digital were 311,000 for The Times and 369,000 for The Sunday Times at the end of the year - the company said.

Profits were also helped by The Times raising its cover price from £1 to £1.20 in January 2014.

Total paid-for sales of The Times decreased by one percent and were down three percent at The Sunday Times.

The results show that Times Newspapers took a £7.4 million hit on redundancy costs in the period.

Operating profits at Times Newspapers came in at £21 million, compared to a £1.7 million operating profit the previous year.

Times editor John Witherow said: “At The Times our relentless focus on quality journalism and cost management has helped us build a sustainable model for the newspaper. We have revamped sections, reinvested in Scotland and continually put our readers first. Our digital revenues are now significant, which shows that subscription is working.”

Sunday Times editor Martin Ivens said: “The Sunday Times has broken a number of award-winning scoops, from the FIFA scandal to blood doping in athletics, which reflects the strength of our journalism and the impact we have. We are committed to protecting our future as Britain’s biggest selling Sunday newspaper in the quality market, in all our formats."

Looking forward, Times Newspapers said its sports offering will be improved when its UEFA Champions League and Europa League highlights clips are available from this summer.

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