Telegraph profits rise

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Pre-tax profits at The Telegraph, Conrad Black's quoted newspaper company, rose by around 37 per cent to pounds 34.6m in the six months ended June. Operating profits were up from pounds 19m to pounds 23m, though last year's figure included pounds 2.2m of flotation costs.

The company also benefited from a pounds 6.5m gain on the sale of its stake in Trinity International and pounds 4.4m from associated companies - up from pounds 1.8m, principally as a result of the group's 18 per cent stake in the Australian newspaper group John Fairfax.

A boosted dividend - 5.5p against 4.5p - helped the shares to surge 29p to 418p.