The regional newspaper publisher has reported that operating profit fell to £71.8m for the 53 weeks ended 2 January 2010 from £128.4m the year before. Revenue fell to £428m from £531.9m.
However a little bit of a silver lining as advertising revenues appear to be reversing their falling trend,as the rate of decline reduced throughout the period with the first quarter down 33.9 per cent and the final quarter was down 11.2 per cent.
According to their chief executive
The year ended with the group in a much stronger position than it began: advertising is more stable; circulation trends have improved; digital revenues are growing; our cost base has reduced significantly and we have renegotiated finance facilities for 3 years."
The compnay also confirmed that debt reduction was its biggest priority.In accordance with the provisions of its revised financing arrangements, no dividend is proposed for the year.