Dundee-based media group DC Thomson & Co Ltd saw its sales increase last year despite “challenges” in the publishing sector.
The firm’s newspaper titles include The Courier and the Evening Telegraph in Dundee, The Press and Journal and The Evening Express in Aberdeen and The Sunday Post.
Its magazine portfolio includes The People’s Friend, My Weekly, The Scots Magazine, Puzzler, Stylist and comic The Beano.
The company’s other interests include contract printing, gift products through the Wild & Wolf brand, genealogy business Find My Past and data storage specialist Brightsolid.
Newly published accounts at Companies House show underlying sales rose by 2.9% to £191.4 million for the year ending March 31.
The group recorded pre-tax profits of £71.4m for the financial year before a one-off cost of £36.9m linked to the closure of Parragon Books.
A statement from the DC Thomson Group said: “Despite ongoing challenges in the publishing industry, the long-established media business continues to be successful.
“Circulation revenues were down by only 1.5% and advertising down 5.3%, making the relative performance of the media business one of the highest margin, most profitable portfolios in the country.”
The firm said its recent acquisitions, which include radio station Wave FM and Aceville, a stable of specialist magazine titles, will “add revenue and create synergies to enhance profitability”.
It noted that Puzzler Media continues to be the market leader in puzzle magazines publishing and is seeking new digital revenue streams.
Meanwhile Shortlist Media has been rebranded Stylist Group and will strengthen its dominant position as a contemporary media brand for women with a US digital operation, a franchised events business and fitness product.
Revenue at Wild & Wolf increased by 7.1% as it continued its expansion outside the UK and made investments in its e-commerce infrastructure.
“The group continues to invest in Find My Past, the online genealogy business, focusing on areas where it has competitive advantage including new records and additional features and services including a new DNA experience designed to help customers explore their roots,” the firm added.
“Data hosting business, Brightsolid performed well with a 23% uplift in revenues as the data centre in Aberdeen continues to fill.
“The investment in Beano Studios continued during the year with the international sale of the new television series Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and the rapid growth of Beano.com, both of which have won a number of awards.
“While challenges remain in some of the markets in which the group operates, it expects its traditional business to continue to prosper and is committed to finding new products and markets.”