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DC Thomson pre-tax profits up by nearly 5% - to £28.6 million while Friends Reunited value falls

Dundee publisher DC Thomson is reported to have boosted pre-tax profits by nearly 5% - to £28.6 million for the year ended March.

According to a report today by BBC Scotland’s business editor, Douglas Fraser, the annual figures show group publishing income rose from £249 million to £260 million.

Around 40% of revenue was generated by book publishing while the share of its online business rose from 4% to 10% of turnover.

Magazines, says BBC Scotland, gave the company 23% of its income, and newspapers including the Sunday Post, The Courier and the Press and Journal, represent 24% of company revenue.

The company has closed a print plant in Dundee, with plans to close another in Glasgow in 2012-13, and says it is keeping "a tight review" on staff costs.

The group balance sheet showed that the company had total assets at the end of March of £1.2 billion, of which £537 million was in financial assets, largely built up through investing retained profits.

The annual report also revealed that Friends Reunited, the social networking site, is reckoned to have an asset value of only a fifth of the sum paid for it two years ago by the company.

That value is less than 3% of the price paid for the school, student and family reuniting website by broadcaster ITV, when it bought it six years ago for £175 million.

According to the BBC Scotland report: “Having agreed to buy it from ITV in 2009 for £25.6 million, DC Thomson has restated its previous accounts, to show the Friends Reunited intangible asset is worth only £5.2m.

The Dundee group is now accounting more than £20m of the price it paid as 'goodwill' - the market value of an asset over and above its productive value.

It said this restatement was due to "further evidence of the value of the customer databases acquired".

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