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Newsquest titles report fall in profits

A group of Scottish titles has reported a fall in profits amid what it termed “difficult conditions in the newspaper market” in 2013.

However, the Newquest-owned Herald and Times group said that its performance in the current year has been boosted by Commonwealth Games and the Scottish independence referendum.

The Glasgow-based business, which publishes The Herald, Evening Times, Sunday Herald and Scottish Farmer, said pre-tax profits for the year ended 29 December were down to £9.2m from £12m the previous year.

Overall turnover fell by 5.7pc to £53.8m, with growth of the online business unable to offset the decline in print revenues.

Managing director Tim Blott said: “Difficult trading conditions in our newspapers business saw a reduction in operating profit last year.

“Our internet operations are rapidly gaining audience and paid- for subscribers, but not enough in 2013 to mitigate the print revenue decline.

“Our magazines division continued to grow, but our printing business saw margins under pressure.”

However he added: “The Herald and Sunday Herald, both in print and online, have seen substantial and sustained growth in circulation and audience during the Commonwealth Games and more particularly the recent referendum, where we saw print sales rise by up to 110pc.”

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  • September 29, 2014 at 11:47 am

    At least Mr Blott is candid enough to admit the internet operations are not delivering enough money to make up for loss of newspaper income. Full marks for that. But a lot of newspaper losses have been self inflicted as bosses chase the elusive crock of gold on the web. You never get em back!

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