Times publisher reports pre-tax losses of £24m

Times Newspapers Limited pays out £14m to departing directors, including chief executive Tom Mockridge

The publisher of the Times and the Sunday Times has reported a pre-tax loss of £24m, as payouts to departing directors hit £14m, according to financial filings for the year to 30 June 2013.

Times Newspapers Limited, the News UK subsidiary, reported that the loss was a slight year-on-year reduction from the £28.7m in 2012. In 2011, the company reported a loss of just under £12m.

The total remuneration of TNL directors, including Times editor John Witherow, was £13.18m – close to double the £7.5m in 2012.

The company said it paid out £14m to former directors for compensation for loss of office – departures included chief executive Tom Mockridge, who has since joined Virgin Media, and Times editor James Harding, who has joined the BBC as director of news – up from £10.8m in 2012.

"Compensation for loss of office has increased due to such payments being made to a greater number of directors in the current year," the company said in its financial filing.

The newspapers' reported revenues were down 3.5% year on year, from £360.6m to £347.9m – two years ago revenues were £401.7m.

During the year, TNL cut almost 8% of its editorial headcount, from 513 to 473 employees, with payroll costs dropping slightly from £46.5m to £45.8m.

The company said it incurred £15.8m in redundancy costs during the year to 30 June.

TNL said its net liabilities were £501m, with "intermediary UK parent company" News Corp UK and Ireland confirming its "intention of providing continuing financial support to enable the company to meet its liabilities as they fall for the forseeable future."

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Mark Sweney

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