SSO Media gave almost $600,000 to the community last financial year, it was announced at the company’s annual general meeting last week.

Gay & Lesbian Community Publishing Ltd (GLCP), which trades as SSO Media and publishes the Sydney Star Observer and Melbourne’s Southern Star Observer, also announced a record profit of $82,284 for the year, following the $155,000 loss the previous financial year.

GLCP Chairman, Daniel Bone said the result was a fantastic turnaround for the company.

“We’ve gone from the largest ever loss in the year we started Southern Star and the global financial crisis hit, to the best profit the paper has ever made and it’s an extraordinary result,” said Bone.

“It’s a great credit to the whole team who produce the paper each week, particularly Scott as an editor who has lead a lot of the initiatives.”

While advertising revenues had not yet returned to pre-GFC levels, Bone said much of the result could be attributed to efficiencies put in place by the board and publisher.

“I think we’ve managed to maintain and improve the quality of the newspaper while at the same time reducing costs, increasing efficiency and moving the paper forward both online and its printed edition,” Bone told the AGM.

This was achieved despite providing a 40 percent increase in the support that the company gave to community organisations — to a value of nearly $600,000.

At the AGM shareholders unanimously approved a new constitution for the company.

Bone said as well as bringing the company up to date with regulatory environments, the new constitution further enshrined the concept of the paper as a community publication.

“It’s a truly community owned paper — all the directors are volunteers and all the profits go back into the community through the very large amount of support we provide for community organisations in terms of actual cash and advertising in the paper, and editorial support,” he said.

“We don’t and won’t ever be providing profits to shareholders — the new constitution locks that in and defines our role as working for and supporting the GLBTI community.”

Publisher Scott Abrahams said the record result had not come about by accident.

“Such achievements are not the result of good luck and chance, they have their roots firmly in the commitment, dedication and passion of the fantastic team that brings you not one, but two papers every week,” he said.

“I am fortunate to be surrounded by an incredibly dedicated bunch of professionals whose passion not only runs deep in publishing, but fortunately also sits squarely in the heart of the fantastic communities we report on.

“But I am most proud of the almost $600,000 in community support we were able to provide last financial year because it is this commitment to work for the betterment of our community that sets ups head and shoulders above our competitors.”

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