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Increased profits for Southnews

Southnews Plc, the London-based regional newspaper publisher, has announcedincreased pre-tax profits of £12.9 million for the year ending March 31 – up 8% year-on-year.

A company statement said that most of the increased revenue came in the second half of the year, owing to a slow first half of the year in the recruitment and motor advertising sectors.

Southnews publishes 61 titles, of which 16 are paid-for and 45 are free. The principal paid-for titles include Croydon Advertiser, Harrow Observer, Uxbridge Gazette, Ealing Gazette and Surrey Herald.

Earlier this month, the company announced that it had conditionally agreed to sell Lincolnshire Standard Group Ltd and Four Counties Newspapers Ltd – which it acquired in March as part of its £52million acquisition of the Adscene group of titles from Denitz Investments – to Johnston Publishing Ltd, a subsidiary of Johnston Press plc, for £16.5 million. The agreement is conditional on the consent of the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.

Gareth Clark, chairman of Southnews, said at the time: “This sale secures the long-term future of the businesses in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, and enables us to focus our efforts in areas where we can add most value, which is currently in and around Greater London and Kent.”

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