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Murdoch’s Times Newspapers Ltd turns profitable for the first time in 13 years

MUMBAI: Bringing an end to a stretch of losses, Rupert Murdoch’s Times Newspapers Ltd (TNL), publisher of The Times and Sunday Times, has reported its first profit in 13 years.

TNL posted a £1.7 million operating profit for the year ending 30 June 2014, its first profitable year since 2001. That compares with an operating loss of £5.9 million last year.

Times and Sunday Times also reported subscriber increase, with digital membership standing at 291,000 and 338,000 respectively.

According to TNL’s press release, the latest figures for October 2014 showed total paid sales for The Times at 545,000 and Sunday Times at 958,000.

Across both titles there was a 10 per cent growth in membership to 390,000, as at the end of October. Around 170,000 members took TNL’s digital-only product, up 12 per cent year-on-year. There were 220,000 members taking a combined print and digital product, up 9 per cent year-on-year.

TNL, part of Murdoch’s News Corp, said the growth in total paid sales meant that both titles are less dependent on advertising, with paid sales representing 51 per cent of TNL’s revenue, compared to 44 per cent coming from ads.

The company believed the figures confirm that its paid-for strategy is helping to secure a sustainable future for the papers.

Newspapers across Europe are struggling to maintain profitability as they compete for readers’ time and advertisers’ budgets online.