MEDIA company Newsquest (Herald & Times) has booked a 38% rise in annual profits, according to its latest set of accounts.

The business, which owns The Herald, Evening Times and Sunday Herald, saw turnover edge upwards from £56.9m to more than £57m.

The accounts show pre-tax profits rose from almost £8.7m to more than £12m in the 2012 calendar year.

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Managing director Tim Blott said the double-digit percentage increase in profits was mainly because of a £3.4m exceptional property charge, which affected the figure in 2011.

He said: "The Herald and Times Group had another challenging year in 2012, where turnover increased marginally and profit rose but mainly because of an exceptional property charge in 2011.

"We've seen encouraging growth both in audience and revenue in our internet operations and our magazines business continues to do well.

"Our printing division has come under pressure in an increasingly competitive print contracts market, while our newspapers continue to compete ­vigorously in a crowded and volatile environment."

l Newsquest Media Group has announced Henry Faure Walker, digital director at Johnston Press, will succeed Paul Davidson as chief executive from April next year.

Mr Davidson, with Newsquest since 1988, will continue as chairman.