Guardian Media Group losses increase to £54.5m

Guardian Media Group has reported overall operating losses slightly up year on year to £54.5m (from £53.9m) on turnover down £24.9m to £255.1m for the year to 3 April.

At the national newspapers division operating losses increased to £38.3m (from £37.8m in 2011) on turnover which dropped to £198.2m (from £221m in the same period a year ago).

The nationals division reported cost savings of £26.8m for the year.

In a statement the company said: ‘While display advertising revenues were resilient, the Guardian saw a sharp decline in recruitment advertising as a result of the difficult economic environment and unprecedented cuts to public sector spending.

‘Digital revenues were robust, but did not offset the decline in print revenues – reflecting the challenge facing our industry as a whole.”

GMG made a group pre-tax profit of £9m (compared with a loss of £171m in the same period a year ago). This figure includes income from joint ventures Trader Media Group and Emap. Last year’s big pre-tax loss was largely due to write-downs in the value of Emap and GMG radio

Group turnover, including the TMG and Emap joint ventures, was £466.1m (compared with £476.2m in 2010).

According to today’s announcement, GMG’s combined cash and investment fund has seen a sharp reduction over the last year to £197.4m, from £260.8m a year ago.

GMG‘s joint-owned subsidiary Trader Media Group performed well, reporting operating profit of £120.1m (up from £111.7m).

GMG‘s other major joint-venture investment, business publisher Emap, reported revenue for the year of £243m (compared with £238.8m) and underlying profit of £76.3m (£78.3m).

GMG Radio increased its operating profit before exceptional items to £0.9 million (from £0.6 million) on revenue of £47.1m (£50.1m).

GMG Property Services reported revenue of £9.6m (£8.9 million) and operating profit of £1.4m (in 2010 it made a £0.5m loss).

GMG chair Amelia Fawcett said: ‘Our portfolio of investments provided the backdrop against which the Guardian continued to produce courageous independent journalism, precisely as envisaged by the Scott Trust. Nevertheless, while the Guardian is supported by GMG, it does not operate in a vacuum. The forces of change continue to sweep through the industry.

‘The Guardian, like other parts of the group, has demonstrated great ingenuity and vision in adapting to the digital age. The challenge facing us, and news organisations across the world, is how to translate digital audience growth into commercial success.

‘The months and years ahead will be as challenging as anything we have experienced so far. Nonetheless, the decisive action being taken by management, the talent and dedication of our people, our strong core values and the assets in our portfolio mean we can be confident about the future of the Guardian.”

GMG chief executive Andrew Miller said: ‘The Guardian has been at the forefront of innovation in our sector, but the task of reflecting editorial and

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