A surge in profits at Tindle Newspapers suggests the UK’s embattled regional press may be finally recovering from the recession.
Buccaneering regional press owner Sir Ray Tindle reiterated his commitment to make more acquisitions and takeovers this year after his company, Tindle Newspapers, reported a 278 per cent increase in profit to £1.52m.
Figures for the year to March 2012 also reveal group operating profit rose 40 per cent to £1.78m and profit-before tax up 60 per cent to £2m, despite a 5 per cent fall in revenue to £36m.
Sir Ray told Press Gazette that his company had “survived the recession very well” by compensating for the drop-off in national advertising by increasing its local ad revenues.
He also credited Tindle staff, noting how the company had launched 17 new titles since the recession took hold at a time when some of its rivals were doing just the opposite and closing papers.
He said: “I give the fullest possible credit to the staff who have worked like Trojans to produce these papers when asked them.”
Among the Tindle success stories is the South London Press group.
In June 2012 the company announced it was launching eight new paid-for titles in London, each covering a “hyper-local” patch.
The overhaul of the 147 year-old newspaper has resulted in a 64.5 per cent rise in circulation, said Sir Ray.
Asked if he has plans for more expansion, the 86-year-old replied: “Absolutely. That’s quite critical.
“There will be more acquisitions and we may be offered some papers to buy. We are in no way retrenching.”