AddThis SmartLayers

‘Very challenging year’ sees publisher post £1.8m loss

An independent publisher has posted pre-tax losses of almost £1.8 million after what it called a “very challenging year”.

Annual accounts filed by Scottish Provincial Press, which publishes a series of 16 weekly newspapers including the Inverness Courier and Highland News, shows its turnover was down by more than £1.5m to £10m over the course of the year.

However the firm’s managing editor says an ongoing restructure of its operations will leave it “well placed” to continue its publishing operations.

The accounts also also show the average number of employees at the company fell from 218 to 195 between September 2016 and 2017, including a decreased in editorial staff numbers from 77 to 68.

Inverness tabloid

In her foreword to the accounts, managing director Thelma Henderson said: “In keeping with the newspaper industry in general, and local newspapers in particular, 2016/17 was a very challenging year for Scottish Provincial Press Ltd, resulting in a decline in turnover of 14pc and gross margins from 38.9pc to 36.7pc.”

“The company has a clear ongoing strategy in place to restructure operations which, once complete, will leave it well placed to continue providing quality newspapers across the Highlands.”

Aberdeen-based daily The Press & Journal, published by DC Thomson, has further reported that SPP’s New Century House head office, in Inverness, is currently on the market.

The P&J says the company has embarked on a programme of office closures and staff redundancies in the past year and that all 16 titles are now run from three centres in Inverness, Elgin and Wick.

HTFP has approached SPP for a comment.

3 comments

You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • July 6, 2018 at 9:31 am
    Permalink

    That is an enormous loss from a turnover of £10m. If that trend continues in 2017/18 sadly there are only two possible outcomes: following the example of the Oldham Evening Chronicle, or hello Newsquest!

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(6)
  • July 8, 2018 at 8:23 am
    Permalink

    Ominous news and a great pity. Not so long ago, SPP published excellent, news-packed local papers with an apparently solid future in an area that still valued printed products. Sadly, the character of many of them has been swept away by poor decisions.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(1)
  • July 8, 2018 at 9:29 am
    Permalink

    “… the company has embarked on a programme of office closures and staff redundancies in the past year and that all 16 titles are now run from three centres in…..”
    Probably the most depressing ,yet accurate, summary of the present situation for all the main regional publishers in the country, all managing huge losses and rapid decline the only way they know how.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(4)