Sun and Times newspapers report losses as revenues are hit by advertising decline

William Turvill
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The Times and Sun are the latest newspapers to report advertising struggles in 2016 (Source: Greg Sigston)

The publishers behind the Times and Sun newspapers, both owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News UK, part of News Corporation, have reported falling revenue and losses.

Times Newspapers, which publishes the daily Times newspaper and the Sunday Times, saw its revenue dip from £342.6m to £341.7m in the year to 3 July 2016.

The company made a pre-tax loss of £4.9m, down from a profit of £8.8m in 2015.

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News Group Newspapers, which publishes the Sun and Sun on Sunday, reported a steeper turnover decline, from £456.8m to £446.4m. But its pre-tax loss shrunk from £79m to £62.7m.

The Sun publisher said the “main driver” for its revenue decline was “the challenging market conditions for newspaper print advertising with double-digit declines currently common across the country”.

In September, News Corporation acquired Wireless Group, which owns TalkSport.

News Group Newspapers said this deal “provides further opportunities for the Sun to grow its reach in the world of sport in print and online”. It also said the deal “represents an opportunity to leverage its strong radio presence to build on the Sun’s growing digital success story and diversify revenue streams”.

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Times Newspapers also found some positives from the year.

“The relevance of the Times and the Sunday Times was highlighted following the EU referendum result,” the results said, noting that its website attracted nearly 800,000 unique visitors, including 15 per cent from the US, in the 24 hours after the vote, when it was made free to access.

The Saturday newspaper after the result also sold more than 100,000 additional copies, marking its largest circulation since the 2011 royal wedding.

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