Guardian losses narrow as digital revenues climb 20%

Guardian Media Group: losses narrowed by 1.5 per cent to £19.1m
Guardian Media Group: losses narrowed by 1.5 per cent to £19.1m

Guardian Media Group's group revenues increased by 2.7 per cent year on year to £214.6 million in the 2014/15 financial year, partly thanks to a 20 per cent increase in digital revenues.

The owner of The Guardian and The Observer reported a small reduction in its financial losses for the financial year ending 29 March 2015.

The group’s losses before interest, depreciation and amortisation were £19.1 million in the 12 months to 29 March 2015, down 1.5 per cent from £19.4 million in the previous year.

Digital revenues reached £82.1 million in the period, up from £68.3 million in the previous year – a 20.2 per cent increase. 

The Guardian’s online audience reached 127 million monthly unique browsers by the end of its financial year, up from 102.3 million in March 2014 – an increase of 24.1 per cent.

As GMG forecast in its trading update in March, group losses from continuing operations narrowed 35 per cent or £8.5 million year on year: from £26.1 million to £17.6 million.

Meanwhile, losses at Guardian News & Media, the group's core business, narrowed by 1.5 per cent, from £19.4 million in the year to the end of March 2014 to £19.1 million this year.

GMG reported a pre-tax loss of £17.6 million in the 12 months to 29 March, down from a profit of £549.2 million in the previous year, which included of £575 million in contribution from the sale of Trader Media.

The group’s cash and investment fund now stands at more than £838.3 million, which includes the proceeds from the 2014 disposal of its 50.1 per cent holding in Trader Media Group.

Neil Berkett, the chair of GMG, said: "These full-year financial results show that the group is on the right track by increasing revenues and narrowing our underlying operating loss.

"This is a very creditable performance following the transformation of our balance sheet, which was strengthened significantly by the disposal in 2014 of our stake in Trader Media Group."

They are the first annual results issued since David Pemsel took the helm as GMG chief executive. The former deputy chief executive of GNM replaced Andrew Miller on 1 July.

Pemsel said: "These results give us the confidence to invest further in the world-class journalism, digital innovation and growing international readership which has made The Guardian such a powerful global brand. That, in turn, will help deliver long-term financial and editorial sustainability."

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