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Cerneala Roșie Progresistă Aduce Pierderi. Financial Times: Ziarul Progresist "The Guardian" a ajuns la un record al pierderilor de 173 de milioane de lire sterline
Financial Times - Guardian Media Group hit with record £173m loss
Guardian Media Group will this week reveal a higher than expected full-year operating loss of £69m as the owner of The Guardian newspaper battles to bring its finances under control.
GMG’s total pre-tax loss will hit £173m as the group belatedly writes down about £80m in the value of its stake in Ascential, the publicly quoted magazine and events company, and takes a £20m restructuring charge over severance payments.
GMG has exceeded its target of cutting 250 jobs, with 70 journalists taking voluntary redundancy as the media group struggles to deal with the harsh advertising environment that is hurting print publications.
Controversy over responsibility for losses at GMG led to Alan Rusbridger, its former editor-in-chief, stepping down in May as incoming chair of the Scott Trust, which is GMG’s sole shareholder. Mr Rusbridger and Andrew Miller, GMG’s former chief executive, were accused of allowing costs to escalate as the Guardian expanded globally.
The Guardian’s growth, including launching digital editions in the US and Australia, was predicated on increasing digital advertising while remaining free online. Although it recorded 167m monthly unique browsers in June, it has faced intense competition for advertising from Facebook and Google.
The operating loss of £68.7m for the year to March, to be unveiled on Wednesday, exceeds its earlier estimate of £58.6m, according to figures circulated to senior executives. GMG is facing a sharper than anticipated fall in UK print advertising, along with other newspapers, including the Financial Times.
DMGT, which owns the Daily Mail and Mail Online, last week disclosed a 10 per cent fall in print advertising revenue in the third quarter, partly offset by a 12 per cent rise in digital advertising revenue. The drop in print advertising is thought by some publishers to relate partly to uncertainty over the UK decision to leave the EU.
Katharine Viner, editor of the Guardian, and David Pemsel, the chief executive, are likely to emphasise that GMG’s new leadership is taking tougher action than before to cut losses and restore it to a sustainable position. This includes recording the writedown on Ascential, which floated this year.
Or less: annual operating loss GMG can sustain with current asset base
GMG’s 22.4 per cent stake in Ascential was worth £219m at the end of last week, and it also has about £750m in cash and investments following the earlier sale of its stake in Auto Trader, the online group. It needs to reduce operating losses to £30m or less in order to be able to finance itself from this asset base.
Apax, which co-owned Ascential with GMG before the flotation, is thought to have written down the value of its stake several years ago but GMG did not take the same action. It will report the asset writedown and restructuring costs this week as exceptional items totalling £104.3m.
Operating loss in the year to March
About 270 employees in the UK have agreed voluntary redundancy and GMG is also closing 60 unfilled vacancies. This equates to 20 per cent of the UK workforce, beating the target set this year by Ms Viner and Mr Pemsel, who was deputy chief executive under Mr Miller.
GMG has made several efforts to reduce losses to a sustainable level but has not yet managed it. It will report an underlying loss for the year in earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation of £62.6m, compared with a loss of £38.8m the previous year.
GMG declined to comment on the figures.
sursa: Financial Times
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