FT on the offensive and abroad as sales slide

The Financial Times has confirmed that it plans to revamp its UK daily and weekend editions from next month and launch an Asia edition in the autumn.

The news was released on the same day parent company Pearson revealed worldwide sales of the newspaper had dropped 6 per cent in 2002 compared with 2001, mainly because of lower UK sales. Operating profit plunged from £31m to £1m in the same year.

Editor Andrew Gowers said: “We aim both to complete our establishment of a global network of reporters and editions and to go on the offensive in our vital UK market. This is the right time to invest in editorial quality and innovation and in the further strengthening of the FT brand.”

Gowers has made a raft of internal appointments. The Asia expansion plan will include increased coverage of the Asian asset management industry, the introduction of a Chinese-language business service on FT.com and an Asia edition of FT.com.

FT deputy editor John Ridding will move to Asia in the summer to become editor and publisher of the paper in Asia. He will also become part-time chairman of Pearson in Asia.

Dan Bogler has been appointed Asia news editor and Victor Mallet chief Asia correspondent.

The Weekend FT, edited by Chrystia Freeland, will be revamped next month with the launch of a Saturday magazine, and further changes to the daily paper will follow.

John Lloyd will be editor of the new magazine, Emma Tucker will edit the Weekend section and John-Paul Flintoff becomes associate editor of FT Weekend magazine.

The reshaping of the weekday paper, edited by Philip Stephens, will include expanded UK corporate and national news pages, a new what’s-in-the-FT guide on page two, a restyled features section (Inside Track), edited by Andy Davis, and the introduction of daily sports coverage.

David Owen will be sports editor, and Sathnam Sanghera, currently Young Journalist of the Year (British Press Awards 2002), will be chief feature writer, working for both the daily and weekend editions.

Richard Addis will oversee a series of design changes.

By Jean Morgan

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