Regional newspaper publisher Archant has announced increased profits today.
The company is planning to merge its production process and is believed to be seeking more than 20 voluntary redundancies among production and sub-editing staff.
Concerned union members said the company had also detailed plans to recruit non-journalists to sub-edit stories on a lower salary than existing sub-editors.
In a preliminary statement to shareholders, chairman Richard Jewson said strengthened advertising revenues, continued progress in its magazines business and cost controls contributed to the profit increase.
Some of the key points include:
Mr Jewson said: “The outlook for 2008 is uncertain with a weakening of advertising in the final quarter of 2007 continuing into 2008.
“Despite these uncertainties, we anticipate that our magazine business will see continued growth and that we will be able to build further upon our online developments.”
Archant owns four regional daily newspapers, 70 weekly papers and more than 130 websites and employs around 2,600 people.