Turnover up but profits down at Press Association

The Press Association has revealed its group turnover increased to £65.2m in 2003, compared with £63.7m the previous year.

Group operating profit before exceptional items fell to £5.6m from £6.3m in 2002, reflecting a decline in profitability for the agency’s wire services and a reduction in rental income following the sale of surplus property.

The Enterprises division reported stable underlying operating profit of £4.8m.

In its annual report, PA said it had identified three key areas within its Enterprises division with scope for growth. These were sport, entertainment and information and services for business.

Chairman Sir Harry Roche said: “In 2003 we have seen the benefits of our long-term strategy of developing the Enterprises division. The success of this focus positions us well for 2004 as confidence begins to return to the markets.”

PA said highlights of the year included the agency’s coverage of the war in Iraq, the Hutton Inquiry and the Rugby World Cup. Steps were also made towards the expansion into multimedia journalism by training journalists to handle lightweight video cameras.

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