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Newspapers' success boosts media group

Newspapers published by Scottish Radio Holdings are continuing to perform well, according to the group’s interim results.

The group, which publishes 45 local weekly newspapers including the Coleraine Times, Mid-Ulster Mail, Portadown Times, Galloway Gazette, Stornoway Times and The Hebridean, has published a report on its financial half year to March 31.

And it shows that its press divison, Score Press, saw total revenues rise by seven per cent, and its operating profits rise by 15 per cent, compared with the same period last year.

Advertising revenues increased by seven per cent and circulation revenues were up three per cent.

Its also reported that a new printing press at Kilkenny went live on February 7, and the increase in colour capacity now available is already delivering revenue growth.

Scottish Radio Holdings also has a wide interest in commercial radio, and as a whole the group saw operating profit, before amortisation of goodwill, up by 30 per cent from £10.8m to £14.0m.

Chairman, Lord Gordon of Strathblane, said: “With excellent operating margins in both radio and press, and healthy cash flow, SRH is in a strong position to continue to develop the group.

“First half profits growth has been a particularly good achievement against a strong first half year in 2004, with both operating divisions showing impressive increases.

“Press advertising and circulation revenues were up eight per cent in April and we expect press to continue to perform well in May and June.

“Notwithstanding recent radio revenue challenges, the Board remains confident of a good result for the group for the year as a whole.”

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