News: Strong response to difficult trading period for Archant

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Strong response to difficult trading period for Archant

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Archant has announced falls in both revenue and profits for the first six months of 2009, alongside positive progress in its digital performance, in a very difficult period of trading for the consumer media industry as a whole.

Total revenue for the six months to June declined £22.8m (24.4%), to £70.8m, while operating profit was £5.0m, down £8.1m (61.6%) on 2008.

Archant chairman Richard Jewson (pictured above) said: “Our management have responded strongly in the extraordinary market conditions by focussing on innovative ways of stimulating new and existing revenue streams, reducing operating costs by £14.8m and preserving cash, while seeking new ways to develop our digital businesses. We have also made capital investment of £2m in the final stages of the Thorpe Press extension and in our IT systems.”

Newspaper and printing turnover was 25.3% lower at £49.1m (2008: £65.7m) with reductions in all major advertising categories. Advertising revenues fell 29.5%.

Magazines were marginally less impacted with total turnover down 22.2% at £21.7m (2008: £27.8m), and with the Archant Specialist division holding profits at last year’s level.

Good progress continues to be made in digital markets. Total digital revenues increased 18.9% while the online audience continues to grow, with average monthly unique visitors to all Archant sites growing by 48.6% to 2.4m per month (2008: 1.6m).

“Adjusting to this new and different world and restoring levels of profitability will take time,” said Richard. “We remain confident of our ability to exploit the many opportunities to do so, utilising our powerful brands and building on our relationships with our readers and advertisers.”

© Archant Ltd 2013