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FT Group boosts profits to £55 million as business daily’s digital subs rise to 415,000

By Darren Boyle

The FT Group made a profit of £55 million last year despite plunging print circulation figures for the FT according to results reported this morning.

Profit was said to be up 17 per cent year on year, on an underlying basis.

According to parent company Pearson, the FT’s total circulation grew by 8 per cent to 652,000 when digital subscribers are added to the print total.

The FT claims that this circulation figure is the highest "paying readership" in the newspaper’s 126-year history. The current print circulation of the FT is 234,000 – of which 23,764 are bulk copies.

FT Group said in a statement: “ digital subscriptions grew 31 per cent to 415,000, more than offsetting planned reductions in print circulation. Digital subscribers now represent almost two-thirds of the FT’s total paying audience and corporate users grew nearly 60 per cent to more than 260,000.

“Mobile is an increasingly important channel for the FT, driving 62 percent of subscriber consumption, 45 per cent of total traffic and almost a quarter of new digital subscriptions. The FT’s flagship web app now has more than five million users and new FT apps on Google Newsstand and Flipboard have strengthened our mobile offering.”

FT Group reported overall turnover up 1 per cent to £449m for 2013.

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As well as the Financial Times, FT Group includes a 50 per cent share in The Economist. Global print circulation of The Economist hit a new high in 2013 of 1.6m.

Mergermarket also contributed to FT Group's bottom line. That business was sold on 4 February to BC Partners for £382m, but it contributed £108m of revenue and £28m of adjusted operating profit (before central costs) to the FT Group.

Read the full results announcement for parent company Pearson here.


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