Guardian News & Media reports £57m losses

The Guardian: Thursday's cover
The Guardian: Thursday's cover

LONDON - Guardian News & Media (GNM), the publisher of The Guardian and The Observer newspapers, reported a £57m pre-tax loss in the year to March 2009 in accounts filed at Companies House today.

GNM's financial performance was impacted by an £11.4m impairment charge and £11m restructuring costs, including reduncancy payments and a reorganisation of the business. Its pre-tax loss of £57m was less than the £82.5m loss the year before.

The publisher has been forced to cut jobs in the past year. In November, it announced that it was shedding more than 100 jobs in an effort to alleviate losses running at £100,000 a day.

But the accounts say The Guardian and The Observer "continued to perform well". The group also highlighted the strong performance of

The figures reveal that GNM employed an average of 1,773 staff in 2009, up from 1,710 in 2008. Staff costs were up from £100m to £102m, though wages and salaries remained around the £86m mark.

In July of last year, GNM's parent group GMG, reported a pre-tax loss of nearly £90m in the same financial period. It also released the financials for GNM, which it reported as making a £36.8m loss at the time. The discrepancy in the figures released today is due to differing accounting rules in the two sets of figures.

Like the rest of the national newspaper sector, GNM is battling a tough advertising market and falling circulations.

To offset the decline, it announced a rigorous multi-million pound cost-cutting plan. Last year, it also announced plans to shrink The Observer and cull a number of its monthly magazine titles.

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