Earnings: Archant Falls On Ad Downturn, Digital Classifieds Looking Up

South-of-England news publisher Archant saw digital income in the last six months was 63 percent on the same period last year to an unstated figure – but the overall picture is the same negative outlook most local media groups are seeing. Company income fell 3.3 percent to £93 million and profit after tax collapsed 53.8 percent to a mere £3.6 million after the disposal of Scottish newspapers and a 46.4 percent higher tax bill than last year. Otherwise, operating profit was down 9.9 percent to £13.1 million.

But, once again this year, it’s all mainly thanks to the local advertising downturn – especially classifieds, and especially property (down 19.4 percent) and recruitment (down 5.3 percent) – something that quickened in May and June. Online, however, classifieds are still booming – the homes24 property site saw monthly uniques grow 117 percent and, with jobs24 and drive24 thrown in too, Archant’s trio of classifieds sites reports uniques up 85 percent to 220,000. The Norwich-based publisher has around 120 websites. Release & Financials.