Archant profits up nearly 14 per cent

The UK’s fifth biggest local newspaper publisher, Archant, has reported increased profits and not ruled out further acquisitions.

At the end of last year, the Norwichbased private company bought 27 weekly papers in and around London from Independent News and Media for £62m.

Its latest trading statement reveals profit before tax up 13.9 per cent to £27.8m on turnover up 8 per cent to £158m.

Archant produces four daily regional newspapers and more than 85 weekly titles with a combined circulation of three million copies a week.

Chairman Richard Jewson said: “The Archant board continues to look for further acquisitions capable of further enhancing shareholder value.

The economic outlook for 2004 is still uncertain. However, overall we expect moderate growth in newspapers and a further improvement in magazine profitability.”

By Dominic Ponsford

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