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Independent, i and Evening Standard publisher reports increase in losses

Lebedev Holdings losses up 22.5%.

Lebedev Holdings, publisher of the Independent, i and the Evening Standard, has reported an increase of 22.5 percent in pre-tax losses in the year to 2 October.

In a report published on Wednesday the company, which is controlled by Evgeny Lebedev, disclosed that the Independent and i saw losses of £18m in the year to 2 October. It is difficult to compare this with previous figures as the papers were aquired by Lebedev Holdings in 2010, with i only being launched in October 2010. The data which is availble for May to October 2010 shows a pre-tax loss of £1.8m.

Staffing costs at the Independent and i have hit £20m, with an increase in staff numbers from 312 to 321. Total renumeration paid to directors was £554,000, with the top paid director receiving  £519, 276.

The Evening Standard, which is 70 percent owned by Lebedev, reported losses of £8.9m, down from £20.1m in 2010. After having become a freesheet, the circulation increase has caused an increase in advertising revenue to £52.5m. Total staffing costs remained fairly stable at £17m, with staff numbers fallign from 259 to 231. The total renumeration paid to directors as £940,000, with the top paid director receiving £580,000. 

The company saw a total increase revenues from £64.4m to £108.5m; however, this was more than matched by increases in costs. Printing costs grew throughout the company to the cost of printing i, the increased circulation of the Evening Standard and industry wide increases in printing costs.

An increase of debt from £38.9m to £61.2m was mainly covered by interest bearing loans of £17.6m and interest free loans of £3.1m from Alexander Lebedev, taking the total amount due to Lebedev to almost £52m, from £32m in 2010.

These loses leave a total shareholder deficit of £54m.

Helen Robb reads PPE at Oxford University where she is deputy editor of ISIS magazine.