GMG published preliminary 2018/19 results on 1st May 2019, confirming that the key financial goal of its three year strategy of reaching break even had been achieved, with the Guardian’s news and media operations, GNM, achieving EBITDA before exceptional items of £0.8m.
Summary of statutory results, according to GMG:
- Group revenues of £224.5 million, up 3% on prior year (2018: £217.0m), with third successive year of revenue growth supported by reader revenues, digital advertising and international.
- Digital revenues of £125.3m, up 15% on prior year (2018: £108.6m). Digital revenues now make up 56% of revenues.
- Guardian News & Media (“GNM”) EBITDA before exceptional items of £0.8m, a £19.4m improvement on prior year (2018: £18.6m loss).
- Group EBITDA before exceptional items of £3.7m loss, a £19.3m improvement on prior year (2018: £23.0m loss).
- Group Profit before tax of £30.8m reflecting improved operating performance in News & Media operations and gains in the Endowment Fund (2018: £25.0m loss).
- Adjusted net operating cash outflow of £28.1m, an improvement of 18% on prior year (2018: £34.4m). At this level, the Group’s cash requirements are financially sustainable, falling within the expected long-term annual returns of the Scott Trust Endowment Fund.
- Total value of endowment and cash holdings of £1.0 billion (2018: £1.0bn)
Guardian Media Group chief executive David Pemsel said: “Achieving a third successive year of revenue growth and meeting our break even target for GNM is a tribute to everyone within our organisation. GNM has been transformed in the last three years into a more reader-funded, more digital and more international business. Going forward we have a clear strategy and a set of strengths which will help ensure the Guardian’s sustainability despite the ongoing challenges in the global media sector.”
Guardian Media Group chair Neil Berkett said: “Over the past three years the Group has made substantial progress - establishing and delivering on an ambitious strategy, and in the process forging a new business model for high-quality journalism, true to the Guardian’s purpose. Achieving the break even target for GNM for the first time since the 1990s is an outstanding result. As we look to the future, GMG now has a solid foundation from which to continue to deliver high quality independent journalism.”
In April 2019, editor-in-chief Katharine Viner and chief executive David Pemsel announced the Guardian’s new three year strategy. The key goals of the strategy are:
- Two million supporters who financially contribute to the Guardian through regular or one-off payments or subscriptions by 2022.
- Financial sustainability, by ensuring cash requirements remain in line with the expected long-term annual returns of the Scott Trust Endowment Fund of £25-30m.