Financial Times bucks the trend with 26% profit rise - Press Gazette

Financial Times bucks the trend with 26% profit rise

The Financial Times has reported a 26 per cent year-on-year profit boost, and has said it expects profits to continue growing even if advertising revenues remain flat.

Announcing its half-year results this morning, parent company Pearson said the FT Group, which includes the Financial Times and its interactive data division, was “on track to achieve continued profit growth”.

FT Publishing revenues in the first half of 2008 rose 13 per cent year on year to £188m, with operating profits up 26 per cent to £30m.

Pearson said the profit boost had been helped by the publisher’s move away from newsstand sales towards subscription revenues, online and overseas sales.

The company has sold its stakes in international print titles including Recoletos in Spain, Les Echos in France and FT Deutschland, and is about to launch a new Middle East edition of the FT and a wealth management magazine in China.

Advertising revenues at the FT rose two per cent in the first half of 2008, buoyed by growth in consumer goods and luxury products.

Pearson said it was difficult to predict how this would change as the economic downturn took hold, but added: “We continue to expect to increase profit at FT Publishing even without any growth in advertising revenue.”

Subscriber numbers for remained stable around the 100,000 mark.

Pearson said all of its businesses were on track. Overall, the company posted a 14 per cent rise in revenue to £1.97bn, with operating profit up 38 per cent to £124m.

The Pearson chief executive, Marjorie Scardino, said: “Our momentum is strong, even in these tough economic conditions.

“We have leadership positions in good markets and an effective growth strategy based on quality content, digital innovation and international expansion.

“That strategy makes us confident that 2008 will be another record year, and that we will continue to grow.”