Caledonian caution reigned at the annual general meeting of debt-beset newspaper, radio and TV empire Scottish Media Group.

Chairman Don Cruikshank warned investors: “The outlook remains uncertain on the timing of a full recovery and we continue to manage our business on the basis that any material recovery in advertising markets will not occur before 2004.”

However, some growth in this year’s second half was on the cards, Cruikshank conceded. The war on Iraq had suppressed advertising markets in Q1, and SMG expected some “tactical spend” to be carried forwards into the second quarter.

The group’s overall indebtedness had improved earlier this year when US newspaper giant Gannett Corporation bought for £216 million ($356.19m; €304.13m) SMG's Scottish national newspaper titles The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times [WAMN: 01-Apr-03].

Cruikshank also made non-specific optimistic noises about the rainbow’s end, declaring there to be “considerable scope” for the group’s development.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff