The Guardian Media Group made a pre-tax profit of £31m for 2018/19, up from a pre-tax loss of £25m the year before, it has reported.
Guardian News and Media, the group’s publishing arm which produces the Guardian and Observer titles, made a £7m loss (EBITDA).
But when before exceptional items are taken out for the year, which covers the 12 months to the end of March 2019, this rises to a profit of £0.8m.
It is on this basis that the publisher has claimed to have broken even after a three-year strategy to turn its finances around.
It said adjusted net operating cash flow for the year was below a £30m deficit (£28m cash outflow for 2018/19) which falls within the returns expected from owner the Scott Trust’s £1bn endowment fund.
“Therefore the group is in a sustainable position,” it said in its full-year financial statement released today.
“The target is to ensure the adjusted net operating cash flow does not exceed the expected £25-30m average real returns that the endowment fund is expected to generate over the long term.”
Overall group revenue is £224.5m for 2018/19, up from £217m the year before. Digital revenue accounted for more than half of this at £125m.
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.”
The group is targeting 2m paid supporters by 2022 and financial sustainability in its new three-year strategy.
Picture: Graeme Robertson
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