The Financial Times has shrugged off a wider downturn in the publishing sector, with a number of key metrics all showing a healthy bounce including reader engagement, digital subscriptions and profits.
Sparked by last year’s launch of a new-look FT.com, reader engagement has risen by 30% since the new platform hit the web, which is claimed to have one of the quickest loading times - anywhere between 1.5 seconds on desktop and 2.1 seconds on mobile.
Over the course of 2016, the FT hit a record circulation of 850,000 across digital and print, representing an 8% year-on-year rise, with digital representing the lion’s share of that. With a 14% rise to 650,000 digital subscribers now account for more than three quarters of the subscriber base however.
FT chief executive John Ridding said: “Our first year in partnership with our new owners Nikkei saw the FT achieve record levels of paid-for readership and investment in new digital products and revenue streams. These will help ensure the sustained success of the FT’s business transformation and support for our unrivalled quality global journalism. We are developing substantial areas of cooperation with our partners at Nikkei, based on our shared values and vision.”
The FT Live conference business and Financial Publishing divisions also performed well, lifting combined digital and services revenues overtaking those of print for the first time.