A LOSS at its books business dragged down profits at DC Thomson, the Dundee-based comic and newspaper publisher.
Pre-tax profit for the year to 31 March fell to £23.7 million from £31.1m, according to accounts filed at Companies House. Turnover dropped to £252.1m from £271.8m.
The books unit blamed its £1m operating loss on “difficult” conditions for its Parragon imprint in Australia and Europe, including bad debts from customers on the Continent.
Operating profits at its newspapers and magazines division – which publishes the Beano and the People’s Friend – rose to £16.3m from £12.6m after the closure of its printing presses in Aberdeen and Glasgow, which followed an upgrading of its facilities in Dundee. Distribution was also outsourced.
A fall in revenues at the Friends Reunited website, which DC Thomson bought from ITV in 2009, took its toll on the online unit, with operating profits down to £3.7m from £5.6m.
Net assets at DC Thomson – which owns the Dundee Courier, Aberdeen Press & Journal and Sunday Post newspapers – rose to £1.13 billion from £1.07bn, with a rise in its pension fund surplus to £184.8m from £165.7m. The firm also opened “innovation centres” in Dundee and London for tech start-ups.