Guardian News & Media (GNM) reported a £19m loss in the year to the end of March, half the £38m loss recorded in the previous financial year. The publisher of the Guardian and Observer also stated it’s ‘on track to break even this year’.
GNM’s £19m loss is 25% better than its internal target of £25m, due to a combination of better-than-expected revenue growth and almost £20m removed from the group’s cost base.
More than 800,000 people now financially support the Guardian, up 200,000 from a year ago. Of these about 200,000 are print or digital subscribers, more than 300,000 are members or regular contributors, and more than 300,000 gave one-off contributions.
Reader revenues, including income from the sale of the Guardian on newsstands, now exceed revenues generated from advertising.
“We have achieved very rapid growth in our reader revenues – contributions, membership and subscriptions – across the UK, US, Australia and the rest of the world,” said editor-in-chief Katharine Viner and David Pemsel, the chief executive of GNM parent Guardian Media Group in a joint statement.
Between 2007 and 2014 The Guardian Media Group sold all their side businesses of regional papers and online portals for classifieds and consolidated into The Guardian and Observer as sole products. The sales (incl Auto Trader) let them acquire a capital stock of £838m as of July 2014, supposed to guarantee the independence of The Guardian in perpetuity. In the first year, the paper made more losses than predicted, and in January 2016 the publisher announced a 20 per cent cut of staff and costs by 2019 in a bid to break even.
In 2018 the title switched to a tabloid format, intended to cut further costs as it allowed the paper to be printed by a wider array of presses, including outsourcing the printing to presses owned by Trinity Mirror.