The Sun made a loss of £24m last year as a tough print advertising market and mounting costs relating to phone hacking hit the UK’s biggest tabloid.
Its stablemate the Times saw pre-tax losses increase from £4.5m to £6.5m in the year to 2 July, in part due to a £7m bill for redundancy costs.
The Sun more than halved its losses year on year, from £62.8m in 2016, according to accounts filed at Companies House.
However, the dramatic improvement was due to a £55m boost from being able to cancel a provision for HMRC relating to potential employment tax liabilities which has not had to be paid.
Stripping this out, the Sun made a pre-tax loss in the order of £75m, as £51m in charges relating to legal claims and costs relating to phone hacking continued to adversely affect the tabloid.
The Sun also spent £8.5m on redundancies, down from £14.8m in 2016, and £75m on sales and marketing. A 5% fall in total revenues, from £446m to £424m, was attributed to the continuing tough print ad market and general decline in popularity of buying newspapers.
“The main driver of the decrease in turnover was the challenging market conditions, with declines in both newspaper circulation in the popular segment and in print advertising due to continued weakness in the industry as advertisers are shifting spend from print to digital,” the company said.
The Sun said that when all one-off and exceptional charges are stripped from its figures it made £18m in profit last year, up slightly on the £16m in 2016.
The unnamed highest paid director in the accounts, understood to be Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of parent company News UK, received £2.7m.
The Times and Sunday Times saw revenues decline 6.5% from £341m to £319m, mostly due to the struggling print ad market. However, digital subscriptions rose 10% to 171,000 at the Times, and 11% to 189,000 at the Sunday Times, as recorded on 2 July last year.
The publisher said that stripping out restructuring and one-off costs meant that it made a profit of £6.9m, less than half the £15.2m reported in 2016.
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Source : https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/jan/10/sun-makes-24m-loss-under-shadow-of-print-advertising-and-phone-hacking