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Newspapers’ parent company reports £3.5m loss

The holding company behind two of Britain’s biggest daily titles posted a full-year loss of more than £3.5m in 2010 according to its latest accounts.

Claverley Holdings, ultimate owner of the Express and Star and Shropshire Star, reported a loss of £3.536m in the year to 1 January 2011, reports.

Turnover in the group’s newspaper publishing operation, which also includes the Guernsey Press and the Jersey Evening Post, declined from £107m to £104m.

The accounts also revealed that the group’s staffing costs fell from £53m in 2009 to £51m in 2010.   Since then, its Midlands News Association subsidiary, which includes the Express and Star and Shropshire Star, has announced plans for further cutbacks in a bid to reduce its 900-strong workforce by around 10pc.

The group’s overall losses are slightly lower than the £3.607m recorded the previous year.

In a report acoccompanying the accounts, Claverley said the continuing economic decline had made trading very difficult.

It states: “The newspaper publishing companies in the UK faced another challenging year with the prolonged economic downturn making trading very difficult.  Newspaper circulation continued to decline throughout the industry as did advertising revenues.

“The group’s objective is to provide a comprehensive service to both readers and advertisers. It continues to develop new revenue streams using its branding and presence in the market in which it operates.”