Financial Times profit drops 47 per cent

Revenue at Financial Times Publishing fell eight per cent in 2009 to £358m as adjusted operating profit dropped 47 per cent from £74m in 2008 to £39m last year.

FT Publishing includes Mergermarket, the FTSE and The Economist (which is a 50 per cent owned joint venture). Pearson does not break out individual results for the Financial Times itself, but it did say that the newspaper and website was in profit in 2009. This contrasts with the last media recession, post 2001, when the FT lost money.

The wider Financial Times Group, which includes US specialist financial information company Interactive Data, reported today that revenue rose six per cent to £842m last year and that adjusted operating profit was up 22 per cent to £187m.

Pearson said that advertising revenue at the Financial Times remained “highly unpredicatable” but the company said “we expect to see some stabilisation after the sharp declines across the industry in 2009”.

Overall Pearson – which is a global education and specialist information publishing group – reported that revenue rose 17 per cent to £5.6bn last year and pre-tax profit was up 13 per cent to £761m.

While the FT’s global print circulation dropped seven per cent to 402,799 in the second half of 2009 – Pearson reported that‘s paying online subscribers had risen 15 per cent to more than 126,000 and said that it had 750 corporate licences. It said that registered users of had risen 85 per cent to 1.8m and that those of had risen 12 per cent to 1.4m.

The FT iPhone application has now received more than 200,000 downloads, the company added.

It reported that The Economist increased its global weekly circulation by 2.2 per cent in the second half of 2009 to 1.42m.

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