Daily Sport publisher is forced to ask for loan holiday despite return to black

SPORT Media Group (SMG), the publisher of the Daily Sport and Sunday Sport was forced to ask for a six month “holiday” on its £50,000 a month loan from Royal Bank of Scotland, it admitted yesterday.

The red-top publisher warned second-half profit is likely to fall short of expectations and said its working capital was under pressure.

This is despite the group returning to profit for the first time in two years. Sport Media made an operating profit of £800,000 in its first-half, versus a loss of £400,000 in the same period last year.

The firm said that so far in the second half it has seen a “solid performance” from the newspapers, with some circulation gains but continued pressure on advertising revenues. It added it was optimistic that recent initiatives in its digital division will produce an improved performance for the rest of 2010.

SMG chairman Martin Robinson said: “A focus on stabilising the core businesses saw the disposal of two loss-making subsidiaries. As a result, all trading group entities are now profitable and cash generative.”