Blog Post

Updated: GMG Warns Of Losses From Consumer Media Units

Updated below: GMG called us to correct some figures in Guardian.co.uk’s original report…

Original: Guardian Media Group has given its own MediaGuardian.co.uk an advance preview of its 08/09 earnings, which aren’t due until July August – and it doesn’t make pretty reading. Their reporter took the results at a staff meeting Monday, when GMG said it would swing to an operating loss; it didn’t disclose the figure but did say…

Guardian News & Media will post a £35 million loss, with display ad revenue down 30 percent and recruitment ad revenue 40 percent – consistent with the wider market.
— GMG Regional Media will swing move from a £14.3 million operating profit to a sub-£1 million operating loss profit.
— GMG Property will turn in a loss, too.
++ GMG Radio also made a loss.

Consumer media may be hard-going, but both of GMG’s B2B investments (30 percent stake in Emap, 50.1 percent in Trader Media) will each post a £100 million profit – each contribution will merely go to pay off debt, though. Proceeds may have been missed out on this time around but, under its parent The Scott Trust, GMG runs its businesses to sustain its core GNM in the long-term; it already drew down £675 million by selling a 49.9 percent Trader stake to Apax in 2007.

When the results are actually published in July, we will watch for online indicators – by how much can Guardian.co.uk profit from its leading UK and growing overseas audience despite investment? Last year, GMG digital revenue was up by over a third to £85.1 million, but GNM losses widened to £24.9 million from £15.9 million after the group sank £19 million in to a Guardian.co.uk revamp.

Within GMG, GNM is cutting 50 of 850 editorial jobs and 82 of 840 commercial jobs, while GMG Regional Media is cutting up to 286 jobs across MEN Media and Surrey & Berkshire Media, according to Guardian.co.uk.

Disclosure: paidContent:UK’s publisher ContentNext Media is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian News & Media.