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June 27, 2016updated 28 Jun 2016 7:52am

Evening Standard triples profit to £3.4m helped by print circulation increase

By Dominic Ponsford

The Evening Standard more than tripled its before-tax profit figure in the latest available accounts.

The title, which has a free daily circulation of around 900,000, reported before-tax profit of £3.4m on turnover up 13 per cent year on year to £71.3m for the year to the end of September 2015.

Advertising increased as a result of the title boosting its circulation from 700,000 to 900,000 in January 2014.

It made a pre-tax profit of just over £1m for the year to the end of September 2014.

The salary of its highest-paid director more than doubled from £200,000 in 2014 to £410,000 in 2015.

Overall, parent company Lebedev Holdings made a pre-tax loss of £10.3m for the year to September 2015 (compared with a loss of £19.4m the previous year).

This was driven by losses at local TV station London Live and on print newspapers The Independent and Independent on Sunday, which owner Alexander Lebedev closed at the end of March this year.

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The accounts for the year to September 2015 show that The Independent, Independent on Sunday and i were getting closer to break-even. They made a pre-tax loss of £7m (down from £8.5m a year earlier).

The Lebedevs decided to sell the i newspaper to Johnston Press for £24m in a deal which was completed in April this year.

ESTV, which runs London Live, reported turnover more than doubled to £2.6m in its first full year of trading, compared with £1.2m in the previous period.

Pre-tax profits fell from £11.6m last year to £6.3m for the year to the end of September 2015.

As of 30 September 2015 the Lebedevs had invested some £20m in the station via loans, with £18m coming from Lebedev senior and £2m from Lebedev junior.

The station employs 62 staff including a highest paid director who earned a salary of £250,000.

London Live is said to have a reach of 2.3m adults per month.

Pay to directors at parent company Lebedev Holdings grew from £546,000 in 2014 to £1.4m in the year to September 2015. Pay for the un-named highest-paid director grew from £486,000 to £953,000.

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