The Guardian Media Group (GMG) has endured its worst ever financial results, announcing a pre-tax loss of £173m, with the £80m write-down in the value its events company Ascential largely contributing.
Boasting an overall revenue of £209.5m for the year ending 3 April 2016, down from £217.5m in the previous period, the company’s losses dropped precipitously from £14.7m in 2015 to £68.7m.
To return to profit, it has embarked upon a three-year business plan, launched by David Pemsel, chief of GMG and Katharine Viner, editor-in-chief, making the decision to cut 250 staff including 70 journalists to help balance the books.
It made the argument that it grew its audience share on the Guardian website, up from 129m unique monthly users in April 2015 to over 155m a year later.
Neil Berkett, chair of GMG, said that the results stem from the “challenging market conditions in which all news organisations are now operating,” adding that the company will “address those challenges head on” with the three-year business plan in order to protect “Guardian journalism in perpetuity”.
David Pemsel, GMG chief, blamed a “volatile advertising market” for the slump, and claimed that the reduction in staff, in addition to bids to increase membership, branded content, video and data, will wright the ship.
He concluded: “We have a hugely talented workforce and a strong global brand with well-established core values and we remain committed to achieving financial and editorial sustainability through our three-year business plan.”
Print ad revenue in the company was down 15 per cent.