Guardian Media Group posts pre-tax loss of £89.8 million

LONDON - Guardian Media Group posted a pre-tax loss of £89.8 million for the year to 29 March, with turnover falling by nearly 20 per cent, or £96.7 million, to £405.4 million.

McCall... "sharp decline"
McCall... "sharp decline"

Once the contribution from Trader Media Group (which was spun off as a joint venture with Emap last year) is discounted, however, revenue decline was 7.6 per cent.

Group turnover, including share of the joint venture companies TMG and Emap, stood at £637.9 million for the year, compared with £625.7 million in 2008.

Guardian News & Media, the group’s national newspaper division, saw an increase in operating loss, before exceptional items, to  £36.8 million from £26.4 million in 2008, on a turnover of £253.6 million.

GMG Regional Media’s operating profit declined to £0.5 million from £14.3 million in 2008, driven by a 30 per cent fall in classified advertising revenues. Recruitment fell by 34 per cent, motors by 16 per cent and property by 46 per cent. Display revenues slipped by 7 per cent.

The group’s commercial radio division saw advertising decline by less than 5 per cent. Operating loss before exceptionals was £6.6 million on turnover of £46.6 million.

Amelia Fawcett, the chair of GMG, said: "2008/09 was a difficult year for most parts of the media industry, and our own group is not immune to the combined effects of recession and longer-term structural change. We will need to re-examine and reshape many of our existing business models if we are to continue to be successful."

Carolyn McCall, the chief executive of GMG, said:  "The sharp decline in the advertising market had an impact on each of the wholly owned businesses. All are reducing costs to a more sustainable level in this harsh new environment."