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The Pink 'Un Deepens Into The Red 'Un

News, 04 March 2003

The Financial Times, known for decades to City of London denizens the as "the pink 'un" and which has long made a branding virtue of the pink newsprint upon which it is published, may now be compelled to switch its stock to red!

The Pearson-owned daily business newspaper, which is printed in eighteen cities around the globe and until last year had one of the world’s fastest growing international readerships, made a loss in the second half of 2002. The shock result reflects a decline of 6% in circulation during the past twelve months and a dive of 23% in ad revenues.

The FT Group, which includes the paper’s online sibling FT.Com and Paris-based Les Echos also reported revenues down by 8%.

However, broke even for the first time in Q4 2002 after imposing subscription charges in May. Despite the charges (which apply only to the non-news elements of the site) overall traffic also continued to grow, up by nearly a third on last year to 3.5m users in January 2003.

Pearson as a whole prospered during 2002 with double digit earnings growth and pretax profits of £399 million ($630.20m; €581.73m), up 35.7% on 2001’s £294 million.

Said chief executive Dame Marjorie Scardino: “Last year we increased earnings, generated more cash and improved our return on capital, even though we faced an advertising recession far deeper than expected.”

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff