Profits on the up for Archant group

Media group Archant, which owns the Hampstead & Highgate Express and the Eastern Daily Press, has announced an increased operating profit for 2002 of £27.7m, up 5.8 per cent, on a turnover up 1.6 per cent at £146.2m.

The group said that its titles, which include four daily regional papers and 50 weeklies, had performed well in a difficult and uncertain environment.

Chief executive John Fry said: “Advertising in the regional press has held up somewhat better than that for national publishers.”

The Norwich-based private group group acquired seven new magazines in the year; it launched a newspaper for Dublin, the Dublin Daily this year and made an unsuccessful bid for the Glasgow’s Herald newspaper titles.

Archant chairman Richard Jewson expressed a note of caution, saying: “While the company continues to perform well, we are concerned the economy may deteriorate but we believe we are well positioned to weather any down turn and take advantage of opportunities which may arise.”

By Martin McNamara

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