July 10, 2014 at 11:15

Hail the Standard's surprise deviation

Hail the Standard's surprise deviation Swings and roundabouts for Alexander Lebedev: still losing money on the Independents, but turning a nice profit at the Evening Standard. Photograph: Corbis

The London title the Lebedevs bought when it was losing £20m a year is now back in the black

So, is it important that losses on the Independents and the i dropped to £12m last year, from nearly £18m in 2012? Yes if you're trying to sell them; not necessarily if you're the Lebedevs, with a cash pile in Russia to keep you warm. Comrade Micawber still rules OK. But progress is progress, so there is good news here – against the backdrop of a recovering economy.

And the real Lebedev triumph – with bows from MD Mullins and editor Sands – is that the Evening Standard, offloaded for peanuts by a defeated Mail group when it was losing £20m a year, is turning a profit (£1.75m in 2013). It's free. It dominates the London entertainment market. And it's printed. On paper. Many rules broken, but a success; and one to savour.

Tags: The Evening Standard, The Independent

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