The owner of the Daily Record, Daily Mirror and Sunday Mail also revealed that former chief executive Sly Bailey – who resigned in 2012 amid investor unease over her salary – has received additional shares worth more than £300,000 as part of her pay-off.
A tight rein on costs helped operating profits rise to £108m for the year to 29 December, from £107.1m a year earlier, despite revenues at the group, which has more than 4,700 staff, falling 6 per cent to £663.8m.
However, the £225m write-down at its publishing division pushed the group to a statutory pre-tax loss of £160.8m, from a £9.7m profit a year earlier.
Chief executive Simon Fox, the former boss of music retailer HMV, said there had been a “clear improvement” in sales trends throughout the year, with revenues down by just 0.9 per cent in November and December, compared with a decline of 7.1 per cent for the first ten months of the year.
He added: “Most encouraging has been the turnaround in digital revenue trends in our publishing division. From a decline of 10 per cent in the first half, second-half publishing digital revenues improved to growth of 16.8 per cent.”
Circulation volumes for the Daily Record fell 9.7 per cent, against a decline in the Scottish tabloid market of 10.2 per cent. The Sunday Mail was down 9.7 per cent, compared with a 10.4 per cent fall for the Sunday tabloid market north of the Border.