Jagran Prakashan Limited (JPL), publishers of India’s largest read newspaper, Dainik Jagran, reported a 17.8 per cent increase in its consolidated operating profit for the financial year 2014-15 (FY15), going from Rs 382.61 crore in FY 2013-14 (FY14) to Rs 450.56 crore in FY15.

The company also reported a consolidated profit (adjusted) of Rs 244.72 crore, a 32.1 per cent rise as compared to FY14. JPL is the parent company of mid-day. For quarter 4 (Q4) of FY15, the company reported operating revenues of Rs 422.74 crore, operating profit of Rs 104.79 crore, profit before tax (PBT) of Rs 155.96 crore and net profit (PAT) of Rs 129.79 crore.

Commenting on the firm’s performance for the year ended March 31, 2015, Mahendra Mohan Gupta, chairman and MD, JPL, said, “Growth in advertisement revenue was under challenge, but our ability to adjust swiftly to the environment and no increase in average newsprint cost resulted in impressive growth in profit.

The team deserves compliments for improving efficiency and keeping cost under check without compromising the quality and market position.” He added, “During the year, operations were stable in spite of increased competitive intensity in some areas of our operations. We have increased our focus on digital and have worked towards strengthening our systems further to ensure highest degree of compliances and bringing more efficiency in the operations.

As a result, digital has performed incredibly.” Jagran sites were ranked number 20 by COMSCORE amongst all websites in India, with 10 million unique users (Comscore, April 2015). Mobile traffic contributes to 60 per cent of the overall traffic to Jagran sites, with an additional 9 million unique users (March 2015). The company’s news and education portals are ranked number 1 by COMSCORE in their respective domains.

In news & information companies, Jagran sites were placed at number 2 in April 2015. In terms of profits, mid-day has shown a turnaround whereas growth in advertisement revenue of Dainik Jagran was 7.2 per cent, higher than the industry growth rate. Digital advertisement revenue growth was nearly 42 per cent. JPL had proposed to acquire Radio City, and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has approved the deal.

“I am pleased to inform that MIB has approved the acquisition of Radio City. From the current quarter, the company will start benefiting from the exponential growth potential of Radio City,” Gupta said. JPL has interests spanning newspapers, magazines, outdoor advertising, promotional marketing, event management, on ground activities, and digital businesses. The group publishes 12 newspaper brands from 36 different printing facilities across 15 states in five different languages.