Ever since forecasting a seismic £87m EBITDA deficit in 2015, The Guardian has been fighting its way back to profitability. It has been a painful journey: 450 employees have been deemed surplus to requirements, and loss-making international operations in Australia and the US were forced to undergo major surgery. Yet, with only £600m left in the bank, the UK-based newspaper had reached a do-or-die crossroads.
Three years on, The Guardian – which celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2021 – expected to announce the completion of that voyage to break-even point in March 2019.
The next task for David Pemsel, the publisher’s Chief Executive, and Katharine Viner, its Editor-in-Chief, is to plot a route towards sustainable future growth. And, according to Pemsel, the direction of travel is one which will take The Guardian away from its historic “dependence” on advertising.