The Guardian is reported to be considering switching to tabloid format and outsourcing its printing to a rival publisher such as News UK.
The Times today reports from “well placed sources” that the move is under consideration after Guardian Media Group made a “trading loss” of £70m for the year to the end of March 2016.
A source told the paper: “The company is working on a whole range of efficiency projects and the print programme fits into that.”
The Guardian Press Centre opened in 2005 with two new Berliner-size printing presses. The total investment was said to be £80m.
A move to out-source printing by The Guardian was previous reported to be under consideration in 2011.
When The Guardian switched from broadsheet to the narrower Berliner format in 2005 it was selling around 400,000 copies per day. Its latest ABC figure shows an average daily sale of 161,091.
This, coupled with the fact there are far fewer print advertising pages now than a decade ago, means The Guardian has a huge amount of spare print capacity. This means it will be paying for its printing presses to stand idle for much of the time.
Because few other newspapers in the UK use the Berliner format, providing printing for other titles is a challenge for Guardian Media Group. It currently prints the weekly The New European, which has a circulation of around 40,000.
A Guardian spokesperson said: “We don’t comment on rumour or speculation.”