'Independent' loses 486,000 pounds

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The Independent Online
Newspaper Publishing plc, publishers of the Independent and Independent on Sunday, yesterday announced a loss of pounds 486,000 for the financial year to the end of September.

The pre-tax deficit, compared to a pounds 28,000 profit in the previous 12 months, came in a difficult year for broadsheet newspapers.

Ian Hay Davison, company chairman, said that revenue had held up well but the market share of the Independent had fallen to 16.1 per cent from 17 per cent, with a marginal fall in that of the Independent on Sunday to 14.3 per cent. 'Given the intense promotional activity in the marketplace during the year, this is a creditable performance,' he said.

The company has spent pounds 2.35m since the end of the financial year on promotion and product redevelopment. 'A strategic business plan is being formulated which will form the basis for raising the long- term finance for the company to go forward,' Mr Hay Davison added.

The pre-tax loss was on a turnover of pounds 81.4m ( pounds 81.8m in 1992) and came after an operating deficit of pounds 423,000 ( pounds 220,000 profit). The figures included an exceptional cost of pounds 350,000 in respect of the company's abortive attempt to acquire the Observer.