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Evening Standard loses £28.3m after 10 months under Lebedev

Newspaper reports extent of losses after switching to a free model.

London's Evening Standard has reported pre-tax losses of £28.3m in the first 10 months under the ownership of Russian billionaire and former KGB spy Alexander Lebedev.

According to the accounts recently filed at Companies House, Evening Standard Ltd - the vehicle Lebedev had set up to buy the London newspaper in 2008 - has reported losses including £9.9m in one-off fees related to the restructuring of the business from a paid-for to a free newspaper.

Lebedev bought the Standard from the Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) for £1 when it was making estimated losses of £20m a year and selling 120,000 copies a day for 50p each. He dropped the title's cover charge last October and saw the daily circulation increase to 600,000.

The accounts of the company also show that it has to repay £8.3m of debts this year. However, the group said last week that the paper broke even for the first time since the acquisition.