Telegraph increases operating profit to £61.1m and is UK's most profitable 'quality' newspaper

Telegraph Media Group increased its operating profit by £2.7m to £61.2m in 2013, making it by far the most profitable of the UK's 'quality' newspaper titles.

The profit was on turnover down 0.7 per cent year on year to £325.3m. Despite falling print circulation, cover price rises meant circulation revenue was up. The company also reported growing digital revenue and lower newsprint and distribution costs.

The operating profit was before exceptional items. The profit before tax figure was slightly down for 2013 at £57m, compared with £57.2m in 2012.

The Telegraph has yet to reveal any information about the performance of its website metered paywall which was introduced in April 2013. The title charges an annual subscription of £20 a year to readers who wish to read more than 20 articles a month on its website.

The Times and Sunday Times reported operating losses of £5.9m for the year to March 2013.

The Financial Times Group reported operating profit of £55m in 2013, but the Financial Times itself is believed to account for less than half of that figure.

Guardian News and Media made a loss of £30.9m for the year to March 2013 on turnover of £196.3m.

The Independent made a loss of £16.6m in the year to September 2012 but was expected reduce its losses last year.

Telegraph Media Group is privately owned by the Barclay brothers. 

Here is the announcement in full:

The financial statements for the Telegraph Media Group Limited (“the Group”) for the year ended 29th December 2013 have been filed at Companies House.

The statements show that the Group recorded an operating profit before exceptional items of £61.2 million for the 52 weeks to 29thDecember 2013, compared with an operating profit before exceptional items of £58.5 million in 2012. Operating profit after exceptional items was £57.8m (2012; £58.4m).

The Group delivered a good trading performance given the challenging trading environment at a time when the economy was still in recovery.  Turnover for the year fell to £325.2 million, down -0.7% on 2012.  The continuing challenges facing print media led to a year on year decline in print advertising revenues, mitigated in part by a marginal increase in circulation revenues. The decline in print revenues was further mitigated by continuing growth in digital revenues.

The marginal fall in overall revenues was more than offset by lower operating costs. Notable savings on newsprint and distribution were reinvested in digital publications and products. As a result of this, there was an increase in operating profit before exceptional items of £2.7 million (+4.6%) to £61.2m.

Profit before tax was £57.0 million compared with a profit before tax of £57.2 million in 2012.

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