Tindle newspaper group has completed its most successful year ever, with pre-tax profits of more than £8m – up 25 per cent on the previous year.
Chairman Sir Ray Tindle told a two-day conference of 25 of his top management from around the country that the number of titles in the group had risen from 130 to more than 200 through launches and acquisitions.
Total circulation per issue, including weeklies, fortnightlies and monthlies, was 1,269,494.
Sir Ray praised his managers and group managing director Brian Doel, saying: “This is a wonderful achievement for an independent family business started with only a wartime soldier’s gratuity of £300 and the loyalty of a dedicated staff.”
The pre-tax profit represents a 25 per cent return on turnover of just over £32m.
Sir Ray said the UK’s local press was the finest in the world and he forecast an “extremely bright and certain future”.
He said: “Nothing has been invented yet which will knock us out. There is no substitute: the best local weeklies will live for ever in the UK.”
He and Brian Doel emphasised to the conference that editorial content was vitally important to the future of newspapers.
Sir Ray added: “You’ll survive for ever if you give your readers what they have always wanted – strictly local, parochial news; local names, local faces, local people, local places and no-one will defeat you, no-one will take your place.”