British media firm Guardian Media Group is confident of further growth after a rebound in advertising boosted profits.
GMG’s earnings for the twelve months to March 2003 stood at £36.9m ($59.2m; €51.9m), more than three times the previous year’s £9.8m. Revenues jumped 15% to £526m as advertising managed growth of 4.1%.
GMG owns national newspapers The Guardian and The Observer, plus regional papers such as the Manchester Evening News, radio station Jazz FM and online business Guardian Unlimited.
Its newspaper arm saw revenues surge from £331.3m to £376.1m, pushing operating profits from £20.1m to £26.5m. Operating losses stayed flat at £4.3m at the radio unit and fell from £32.2m to £17.6m at Guardian Unlimited.
According to ceo Bob Phillis, newspaper advertising has continued to grow since March. Takings were up between 2% and 3% in the three months to June, with regional titles performing best. “We should be able to sustain that level for the rest of the year,” he forecast.
Phillis revealed that GMG plans to expand its radio offering in the coming year, and also confirmed reports that the group is keen to buy the 52% stake it does not already hold in publisher Trader Media Group, owner of car magazine Auto Trader.
Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff