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July 25, 2017updated 26 Jul 2017 9:36am

Guardian cuts operating loss to £62.5m but boosts endowment fund to more than £1bn after Emap stake sale

By Dominic Ponsford

The Guardian has reported reduced losses and a boost in the value of its endowment fund to more than £1bn for the year to the end of 2 April 2017.

Total revenue was up by £5m to £214.5m with digital revenue up from £81.9m to £94.1m.

The EBITDA loss figure before exceptional items was £44.7m compared with £68.7m in the year to April 2016.

The reported operating loss after exceptional items was £62.5m compared with £100.4m in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue from print, events and other sources was £119.6m.

Digital revenue growth was “due to growth in membership, subscription revenues and one off contributions, philanthropic and grant funded income and advertising revenues predominantly from mobile and apps,” according to Guardian Media Group (GMG).

Overall The Guardian said it had attracted some 230,000 new paying members and reduced its total staff headcount by 300 from 1,860 to 1,563.

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In cash outflow terms, GMG’s turnaround has been more modest. In the year to the end of March 2016 it spent £72.3m keeping the ship afloat, in the last financial year that figure fell to £67.3m.

The investment fund has grown to £1.03bn (from £765m a year ago) thanks to a 20.6 per cent increase in the value of the Long Term Endowment Fund and £239m from the sale of GMG’s 22.4 per cent stake in Ascential (formerly Emap).

Chief executive David Pemsel said: “Despite the challenging market conditions faced by all news organisations around the world, our three-year strategy is well on track to achieve its financial goals and to secure the future of the Guardian. We are reducing our costs, growing new reader revenue streams, and building our businesses in the US and Australia.

“We have grown our digital revenues, and we are achieving strong growth in membership, subscriptions and contributions. More people are paying for Guardian journalism than ever before. This is helping to build a strong foundation from which we will continue to invest in some of the most trusted journalism in the world.”

GMG said it remains on target to break-even in the next two years.

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