Financial Times ramps up cover price by 30p

The Financial Times is raising its price for the second time in less than a year – moving up another 20 per cent to £1.80 a day from Monday.

It follows a price rise from £1.30 to £1.50 in January – and represents a 46 per cent rise in cover price since last year. Earlier in 2007, the financial daily was selling for a pound.

Speaking on the Media Show on Radio 4 this week, Financial Times editor Lionel Barber defended the paper’s price rises.

He said: “The price cutting that took place 10 years ago in the British newspaper market did have some dark consequences. It may have given a brief stimulus to circulation but it didn’t help profitability at all.

‘We have increased our price steadily since I took over and we’ve seen that circulation hasn’t fallen. We’re offering something which is valuable and we’re going to charge for it.”

The move will be seen as the latest sign that papers at the quality end of the market are responding to plunging advertising revenue in the current financial downturn by ramping up their cover prices.

The Independent moved its price from 80p up to a £1 a day in September.

All the quality papers have increased their prices over the past year. The Guardian and Times sell for 80p during the week and the Daily Telegraph went up to 90p in September.

Traditionally “quality newspapers” derive about two thirds of their revenue from advertising and a third from the cover price. This ratio is reversed in the popular press.

The Daily Star cut its cover price last week to 20p – making it 10p cheaper than its red-top rival The Sun which is currently selling for 30p.

The Daily Express currently sells for 40p, the Daily Mail for 50p and the Daily Mirror for 40p.

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