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Standard racks up ?10m loss under Osborne

The Evening Standard has swung to a ?9.98m loss for the year to September 2017, from a ?2.2m profit a year earlier, in what was the first set of results posted since former chancellor George Osborne took over as editor last May.
News of the loss at the free London paper, which was first reported by the BBC, comes amid shrinking print advertising revenues. ­However, the online-only ­Independent, which is also controlled by Evgeny Lebedev, recorded a ?3.3m profit for the period. ESI Media’s London Live TV station cut its annual losses to ?2.95m.
Separately on Friday, the owner of the Daily Mirror said it had set aside another ?7.5m for legal bills relating to historical phone hacking, warning investors that fees due to lawyers of those targeted by its newspapers are likely to be higher than previously expected.
The extra legal fees take Reach’s total phone hacking bill to ?70.5m but the company said its board “remains confident that the exposures arising from these historical events are manageable”.
The warning came in a trading update as Reach, formerly known as Trinity Mirror, said it expected revenues to grow 11pc in the half-year to July 1 thanks to its ?200m deal to buy the Express and Star newspapers from Richard Desmond.
Standard racks up ?10m loss under Osborne

Trinity Mirror bought the titles from Richard Desmond

Credit:
 PETER J JORDAN
Revenues for the firm excluding the new titles fell 8pc compared with the previous year. A slender 1pc increase in online sales failed to make up for a 10pc plunge in print. But the publisher said it expected to meet analysts’ expectations of full-year pre-tax profits of between ?131.7m and ?133.9m, as cost savings from the merger cancel out higher newsprint prices.
Simon Fox, chief executive, said: “We have seen some improvement in May and June, driven by stronger national print advertising.”
Reach’s takeover of the Express and Star completed on Feb 28, but was the subject of a retrospective investigation by authorities.
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