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Earnings: Guardian Group Made £85.1 Million From Digital In 07/08

imageGuardian Media Group (GMG) grew digital revenues 36 percent to £85.1 million in the 2007/08 financial year ending March 30. The fastest growth was in digital display ads in the news publishing division, up 49 percent…

Guardian News & Media: Losses widened to £24.9 million from £15.9 million after the group sank £19 million in to a Guardian.co.uk revamp. That’s now complete and, though the site finally faces real competition for the UK top slot, it just regained that place in latest ABCe returns. GNM group said it scored its best revenue growth since 2001. Our parent company ContentNext Media is a wholly owned subsidiary of GNM.

Trader Media Group: The biggest digital contributor to GMG, the car advertiser saw digital profit up 30 percent and TMG took the majority of its profit from digital for the second year running. But, whilst turnover was up 2.3 percent to £319.5 million, operating profit fell 13 percent to £90.7 million on print-online integration and marketing costs.

Regional media: The local newspapers business may have seen online unique users rise 16.9 percent after newsroom integration restructure, but – as is true for most regional groups at the moment – it was “most seriously affected” by the “difficult” ad market and “the migration of revenues from print to online”, especially those pesky classifieds, causing profit to fall 26 percent to £14.3 million on £120 million turnover.

But the sell-off of nearly half of TMG to Apax last year knocked GMG group income down from £716.1 million last year to £502.1 million. And, without the proceeds from that sale, pre-tax profit would have fallen from last year’s £97.7 million – but the £334.8 million windfall in fact jumped pre-tax profit up to £306.4 million.

GMG will now create a “long-term investment fund”, not targeted at media, in 2008/09 and expects the UK economy to “have an impact on a number of the group’s revenue streams”.