Monday 16 July 2018

Profits halve at the Telegraph amid falling advertising sales

The newspaper group, owned by the Barclay brothers, said consumer habits were changing.

The Telegraph is signing up more registered users (PA)
The Telegraph is signing up more registered users (PA)

By Helen Cahill, Press Association City Reporter

The Telegraph’s profits halved last year as the paper suffered a fall in print advertising revenue.

Revenues fell 5.8% for the year, down from £303.2 million to £285.7 million, which the media company said was due to “structural changes” in the industry and a change in how readers consume media.

Profit before tax slumped 49.4%, down from £27.1 million to £13.7 million.

Operating profit, before exceptional items, was down from £32.5 million to £21 million, a fall of 35.4%.

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Nick Hugh is chief executive of the Telegraph group (Telegraph Media Group/PA)

Digital subscription revenue was up 30% year-on-year, while travel commerce revenue rose 59% on a like-for-like basis.

Print advertising and circulation revenues fell 9% year-on-year, and revenues in the events business were down 3%.

The Telegraph, which was bought by the billionaire Barclay brothers Frederick and David in 2004 from Conrad Black, welcomed a host of new executives to its top team last year, with Nick Hugh joining as chief executive in June.

Mr Hugh set out his strategy last September, saying the Telegraph would be focused on quality journalism and was aiming to attract three million registered users by the end of 2018.

The newspaper has already signed up 2.5 million registered customers.

The core of what we offer - reporting, commentary, world-class journalism - continues to set the Telegraph apart from other publications Nick Hugh

“Since September, we have begun the first phase of long-term investment in quality journalism,” Mr Hugh said.

“The core of what we offer – reporting, commentary, world-class journalism – continues to set the Telegraph apart from other publications.

“Our digital revenues will continue to get stronger and stronger and as we continue to invest in and focus on quality journalism, we anticipate this momentum continuing.”

The media group said it is hoping revenues will stabilise in 2018-19, “with profit to follow”.

Press Association

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