The Evening Standard has reported its third consecutive year in profit.
The figures mean ESI Media's reported losses across The Independent titles, Evening Standard and London Live total £14.8m for the year to September 2014.
The Evening Standard today claimed an operating profit of £1.4m on turnover up 8.7 per cent to £62.9m. This was a slight dip on the previous year's reported profit of £1.75m.
London Live revealed losses of £11.6m for the year to September on 2014 on Monday. Yesterday, The Independent revealed losses of £4.6m.
ESI Media noted that 2013/14 was “a significant year of investment in the future of the newspaper with circulation increasing from a daily average of 700,000 to 900,000 in the first quarter of 2014”. It now estimates that 1.9m people read the Evening Standard every weekday. It noted that in the current financial year it has also increased the weekly distribution of the ES Magazine and said that its Homes and Properties section has increased its revenues by 30 per cent year on year.
Reacting to the figures on Twitter, ESI Media owner Evgeny Lebedev said the Standard's free distribution model – adopted in October 2009 – has been a "triumph". He highlighted the fact that five years ago the Standard was losing "upward of £30m".
The Evening Standard was bought by the Lebedev family in January 2009. In the year to September 2009, the title lost £28.3m.
The Independent titles were purchased by the Lebedevs in March 2010 and London Live was founded in March last year.
Evening Standard editor Sarah Sands said: “The Evening Standard has been at the centre of events, politically, economically and culturally and is a vital part of the working day for Londoners. If you do not read it you cannot understand our capital.”
ESI Media group chief executive Steve Auckland said: “The Evening Standard is an incredible brand and proof that print is very much alive. The team continues to deliver an outstanding product resulting in record numbers of Londoners picking up the paper every weekday evening.
“Three consecutive profitable years is something to be celebrated and testament to the success of the strategy to turn the paper free and revitalise the business.
“Recently we’ve made huge steps forward with our digital offering, with audience growth of over 77% year on year.
“The latest investment in our website will help us further develop our brand, audiences and revenues. I’d like to thank the entire team for their hard work and the Lebedevs for their investment and vision.”
Evening Standard's reported losses/profits under the Lebedevs (various sources):