Regional publisher Newsquest has reported a pre-tax profit of £23.5m in its annual accounts for 2016.
The company’s annual report and financial statements showed a profit before tax of £23.5m, turning round a pre-tax loss of £19.9m the previous year.
The results have prompted the National Union of Journalists to call for better pay for editorial staff at the group, arguing that the company is in “rude” financial health.
The NUJ says that although some Newsquest journalists have been given a pay rise, the increases have varied in different parts of the country and have been effectively imposed by the company rather than negotiated with union reps.
For example, according to the union, senior reporters at Newport received a 5pc increase while trainees received 2.5pc, while journalists at York received a 2pc rise.
Newsquest has declined to comment on the union’s claims.
Chris Morley, pictured above left, NUJ Northern and Midlands organiser, said: “Newsquest’s corporate structure is opaque to say least but the publication of the latest accounts does throw a few shafts of light into the group’s continuing rude health.
“Reports the union is getting from different parts of the country is that, under great pressure from chapels, stingy local managements are starting to pay more – albeit in a grudging and arrogant manner.
“Better pay needs to be continued for all – and without divisive strings attached as the evidence clearly is that the company has the ability to pay it. After a decade-long pay drought, this cannot come soon enough.”