GMG releases full year profits

The Guardian Media Group (GMG) has published it’s financial results for 2008-2009.

With a turnover of £405.4 million, it would appear GMG is managing to weather the financial storm – but it also had pre-tax losses of nearly £90 million, having turned a profit o £306.4 million in 2008.

Amelia Fawcett, Chair of GMG, said

“While declining revenues were a factor in our financial performance, the reported loss is also due to the restructuring of the portfolio over the last two years – specifically the partial sale of Trader Media Group and investment of the proceeds in long-term assets

The Guardian webste is still a source of pride for GMG:

During the year guardian.co.uk achieved a record audience of nearly 30m unique users. It is now not only the UK’s largest newspaper site but also one of the biggest in the world.

GNM’s aim is to emerge from the economic downturn a leaner and stronger organisation: leaner due to a bottom-up reappraisal of the cost base to ensure it is affordable; stronger because it will continue to invest in its journalism and in maintaining its market-leading positions.

Despite this, Guardian News and Media made a loss of £36 million. However it is local and regional press, unsurprisingly, that is suffering the most. The results reveal that GMG is in fact operating these publications at a loss for the last six months:

GMG Regional Media’s operating profit declined to £0.5m (2008 £14.3m) on turnover of £94.5m (2008 £120.5m). This steep decline was driven by a 30% fall in classified advertising revenues. Recruitment fell by 34%, motors by 16% and property by 46%. Display revenues slipped by 7%.

As reported by how-do, which reports on the media industry in the North West, the drop is classifieds has been significant for GMG.

The Guardian is the advantageous position of not being required to turn a profit, thanks to it’s ownership by the Scott Trust. It has been suggested that one of the survival routes for newspaper journalism is to be administered by charities or philanthropic organisations, rather than aggressive companies. The journalism still has to be paid for, but is free experiment more widely and undertake some projects at a loss.

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