Buzzfeed has said the Covid-19 pandemic contributed to a 16% drop in revenues from its editions outside the US, with “the effective management of cash and costs” key to sustaining its international operations.
Buzzfeed UK Ltd, a group which includes Buzzfeed’s operations in the UK, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Mexico and India, reported turnover of £18.9m for 2020, down from £22.4m the year before, and a pre-tax loss of £3.6m.
The group managed to reduce its operating losses by 60% to £2.9m over the year, driven by selling off its operations in Germany and Brazil. It also closed its news operations in the UK and Australia.
In Japan, however, the publisher, which is a subsidiary of US company Buzzfeed Inc., reported “significant sales growth and profit”.
Buzzfeed UK Ltd’s main source of revenue is the sale of social content advertising to brands. In its accounts for 2020, the group said a “continued economic and political uncertainty has provided a challenging environment” for it to operate in.
The group warned the pandemic “has created and may continue to create significant uncertainty in the macroeconomic conditions which may cause business slowdowns, depress demand for the group’s advertising business and adversely impact its operations”.
It added: “The effective management of cash and costs continues to be paramount in sustaining international operations.”
Buzzfeed Inc acquired web news rival Huffpost in February and announced a raft of cuts shortly afterwards, including shutting down its Canadian operation, with some 70 jobs at risk in North America. The HuffPost UK newsdesk is also facing cuts, with some 17 out of 29 journalists at risk.
Buzzfeed has said it is in the process of integrating Huffpost’s international operations with its own. Its directors said they “do not expect any significant impact” to Buzzfeed UK Ltd following the buyout.
Picture: Reuters/Brendan McDermid