Family history site helps DC Thomson web offshoot to move into the black

BRIGHTSOLID, the online publishing and technology group owned by Dundee-based publishing company DC Thomson, has moved into profit after its turnover doubled.

The group said the results reflect the impact of its acquisition of the London-based online genealogy business findmypast.com last year. The company is still waiting for regulatory approval of its 25 million acquisition of ITV's social networking site, Friends Reunited.

Figures show the group achieved a pre-tax profit of just over 2m on turnover of 13.2m. The previous year, it recorded a pre-tax loss of 2.2m on sales of 6.8m.

Brightsolid said it has won "significant" contracts across both its publishing and technology businesses during the year to 31 March 2009.

Chris van der Kuyl, former computer games guru and chief executive of Brightsolid, said: "The significant growth achieved during last year comes as a direct result of earlier strategic decisions made about the future direction of the company.

"The acquisition of findmypast.com and the re-focusing of the business along two distinct lines of activity – online publishing and online technology – have paid off, and will continue to do so."

The online publishing division, in addition to owning findmypast.com, operates the genealogy site ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk a partnership between the General Register Office for Scotland, the National Archives of Scotland and the Court of the Lord Lyon. It is also involved in the digitisation and management of census records from the 1911 England and Wales Census.

In August 2009 Brightsolid acquired Friends Reunited Group from ITV. In November the Office of Fair Trading decided to refer the acquisition to the Competition Commission. A decision is expected during the first quarter of this year.

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