Archant loses £7.6m before tax as advertising and circulation revenues fall - Press Gazette

Archant loses £7.6m before tax as advertising and circulation revenues fall

Archant close offices

Archant, publisher of the The New European and Eastern Daily Press titles, made a pre-tax loss of £7.6m last year, new full-year accounts show.

Group revenue for 2018 was down 9.6 per cent to £87.3m. Advertising revenue, which makes made up the majority, fell by 10.8 per cent to £64.2m.

Newspaper circulation revenue fell 6.6 per cent to £16.4m while magazine circulation revenue fell 4.4 per cent to £6.6m.

But digital revenues were up 13.2 per cent to £9.3m, of which £2m was from classified ads and the rest from display and other.

Archant made a pre-tax loss of £334,000 in 2017.

In a statement in its 2018 annual report, published today, Archant said it “continues to operate in an increasingly fragmented media landscape”.

The company said it is focused on “driving and monitoring the transition of leveraging local and regional audiences via online media in light of the continuing decline in print”.

The group reported 8.5m monthly unique visitors on average for its websites in 2018, down by 200,000 on the year before, with average monthly page views up 600,000 to 34.4m for the year.

Archant reduced its operating costs by 8.6 per cent to £84.6m over the period, with employment and production cost savings at similar levels.

Operating profit before exceptional items was down 32.9 per cent to £2.7m for the year “as revenues fell more than cost savings”, the company said.

Over the year, Archant published more than 50,000 daily newspaper copies, more than 740,000 weekly newspaper copies and more than 590,000 monthly magazine copies.

Press Gazette reported last month that Archant will stop printing newspapers at its £40m print facility just outside Norwich, where its headquarters (pictured) are based, putting 96 jobs at risk.

The company’s chief executive, Jeff Henry, has also stood down.

Archant chief content officer Matt Kelly announced last month that he was stepping down as editor of The New European and will head up a Google-funded project at the publisher to find a way to make local news pay online.

Read the full 2018 Archant accounts.

Picture: Google Maps

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7 thoughts on “Archant loses £7.6m before tax as advertising and circulation revenues fall”

  1. You could analyse these shocking figures by sector all day long but this latest ongoing level of underperformance and failure are, in my opinion, the result of one long running problem throughout the business, no it’s not the internet, new competitors or the rise of social media, it’s Archants yes man culture.

    It’s an environment where ill conceived strategies are rolled out by senior managers , unopposed and unchallenged up or down the line, managers unaware or unaccepting of the real issues affecting the business and who are disconnected from the staff and the local communities their papers once served so well.
    Staff on the ground are paid lip service but aren’t listened to, the only ones who are are those who will tell their bosses and senior managers what they want to hear so as to ingratiate themselves and cover their own backs; ‘the yes men and women’
    Many of these are middle managers who are weighing down the business, incurring
    high costs yet contributing little or nothing.Some have been over promoted into positions they’re out of their depths in but the majority have been in their jobs far too long,they’ve had enough time and many many chances to influence things but have consistently failed to deliver, preferring to make excuses and point the finger elsewhere so as to divert attention away from the real issues.They’re out of ideas, are ineffective and unable to motivate their commercial teams and have lost the confidence of their staff.

    Inter departmental in-fighting is also rife where managers back stab and bad mouth other managers, where any success is seen as a threat and where they’re constantly looking to point score.
    In an environment where under performance is accepted and complacency is rife no one should be surprised to read this report and see just how bad the situation has become with these people at the helm.

    These managers have presided over yet another year of abject failure and need to go, they’ve proved they’re not up to the task and are simply treading water.
    More professional,competent and effective people are needed either promoted upwards from within or brought in from elsewhere, professionals who know how to motivate and manage sales teams to achieve.

    Doing nothing is no longer acceptable and change needs to happen before the situation becomes completely beyond recovery.

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