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The Guardian’s turnaround strategy bears fruit as it breaks even

The Guardian recorded 1.35bn page views in March 2019 versus just 790m in April 2016 / The Guardian

Guardian Media Group has successfully stabilised its finances following a three-year turnaround plan instigated by editor-in-chief Katharine Viner and chief exec David Pemsel back in January 2016.

The period of belt-tightening has seen losses pared back from £57m in 2015/16 to a modest profit of £800,000 before expenses for 2018 – all based on the back of surging online readership.

The Guardian recorded 1.35bn page views in March 2019 versus just 790m in April 2016, a broad pool from which 650,000 paying monthly supporters were drawn; including a mix of subscribers, regular contributors and members.

By way of comparison, the Guardian had just 12,000 members and 175,000 print and digital subscribers in 2015.

Further cash inflows came courtesy of a further 300,000 individual contributors last year, factors which mean that the Guardian’s media business now draws 55% of all revenues from digital sources.

Viner said: “Thanks to the support of our readers and the incredible hard work and talent of Guardian staff, we have reached an important financial milestone. We are now in a sustainable position, and better able to deliver on our purpose by producing outstanding journalism that understands and illuminates our times.”

Further good news came from further afield with international revenues doubling since 2015/16 on the back of double-digit growth per annum.

Today's financial results justify a decision to prioritise tapping readers for revenue.

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