Show Hide image

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.

Show Hide image

Geoffrey Howe dies, aged 88

Howe was Margaret Thatcher's longest serving Cabinet minister – and the man credited with precipitating her downfall.

The former Conservative chancellor Lord Howe, a key figure in the Thatcher government, has died of a suspected heart attack, his family has said. He was 88.

Geoffrey Howe was the longest-serving member of Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet, playing a key role in both her government and her downfall. Born in Port Talbot in 1926, he began his career as a lawyer, and was first elected to parliament in 1964, but lost his seat just 18 months later.

Returning as MP for Reigate in the Conservative election victory of 1970, he served in the government of Edward Heath, first as Solicitor General for England & Wales, then as a Minister of State for Trade. When Margaret Thatcher became opposition leader in 1975, she named Howe as her shadow chancellor.

He retained this brief when the party returned to government in 1979. In the controversial budget of 1981, he outlined a radical monetarist programme, abandoning then-mainstream economic thinking by attempting to rapidly tackle the deficit at a time of recession and unemployment. Following the 1983 election, he was appointed as foreign secretary, in which post he negotiated the return of Hong Kong to China.

In 1989, Thatcher demoted Howe to the position of leader of the house and deputy prime minister. And on 1 November 1990, following disagreements over Britain's relationship with Europe, he resigned from the Cabinet altogether. 

Twelve days later, in a powerful speech explaining his resignation, he attacked the prime minister's attitude to Brussels, and called on his former colleagues to "consider their own response to the tragic conflict of loyalties with which I have myself wrestled for perhaps too long".

Labour Chancellor Denis Healey once described an attack from Howe as "like being savaged by a dead sheep" - but his resignation speech is widely credited for triggering the process that led to Thatcher's downfall. Nine days later, her premiership was over.

Howe retired from the Commons in 1992, and was made a life peer as Baron Howe of Aberavon. He later said that his resignation speech "was not intended as a challenge, it was intended as a way of summarising the importance of Europe". 

Nonetheless, he added: "I am sure that, without [Thatcher's] resignation, we would not have won the 1992 election... If there had been a Labour government from 1992 onwards, New Labour would never have been born."

Jonn Elledge is the editor of the New Statesman's sister site CityMetric. He is on Twitter, far too much, as @JonnElledge.