News & Opinion

The Guardian publishes its financial results: digital generates 80% of ad sales

The publication records third successive year of revenue growth.

After releasing its preliminary results in May, The Guardian Media Group announced its statutory results for the 12 months to 31 March 2019. The results show that revenue of £224.5m, up 3% from the previous year, largely down to reader revenues, digital advertising and international sales. 

Summary of results: 

  • Digital revenues of £125.3m, up 15% on prior year (2018: £108.6m). Digital revenues now make up 56% of revenues.
  • Guardian News & Media (“GNM”) EBITDA before exceptional items of £0.8m, a £19.4m improvement on prior year (2018: £18.6m loss).
  • Group EBITDA before exceptional items of £3.7m loss, a £19.3m improvement on prior year (2018: £23.0m loss).
  • Group Profit before tax of £30.8m reflecting improved operating performance in News & Media operations and gains in the Endowment Fund (2018: £25.0m loss).
  • Adjusted net operating cash outflow of £28.1m, an improvement of 18% on prior year (2018: £34.4m). At this level, the Group’s cash requirements are financially sustainable, falling within the expected long-term annual returns of the Scott Trust Endowment Fund.
  • Total value of endowment and cash holdings of £1.0bn (2018: £1.0bn)

Guardian Media Group chief executive David Pemsel said: “Achieving a third successive year of revenue growth and meeting our break even target for GNM is a tribute to everyone within our organisation. GNM has been transformed in the last three years into a more reader-funded, more digital and more international business. Going forward we have a clear strategy and a set of strengths which will help ensure the Guardian’s sustainability despite the ongoing challenges in the global media sector.”

Guardian Media Group chair Neil Berkett added: “Over the past three years the Group has made substantial progress - establishing and delivering on an ambitious strategy, and in the process forging a new business model for high-quality journalism, true to the Guardian’s purpose. Achieving the break-even target for GNM for the first time since the 1990s is an outstanding result. As we look to the future, GMG now has a solid foundation from which to continue to deliver high quality independent journalism.”

The Guardian’s three-year strategy was announced in April 2019:

  • Two million paid supporters by 2022
  • Financial sustainability, by ensuring cash requirements remain in line with the expected long-term annual returns of the Scott Trust Endowment Fund of £25-30m

Source: The Guardian

by Hannah Ohm Thomas 08/08/19

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