Telegraph Media Group is riding out the recession without too many money troubles, or at least it was up to December 28 2008. According to accounts filed at Companies House the privately-owned publisher made an operating profit of £32 million in 2008 — compared to £34.3 million in 2007 — on revenue of £343.4 million, an £11.5 million drop on 2007.
That profit (actually up £1 million year on year on a like-for-like basis) is however dwarfed by a £47.1 million bill for exceptional items, including £11.8 for internal restructuring and the £32.9 million it spent on terminating its Westferry printing joint venture with Daily Express publisher Northern & Shell.
— Digital investment: As usual, there’s no overall revenue figure for online revenue, but TMG says it’s confident its strategy of investing in online makes it “extremely well-placed to take advantage of structural market changes”. TMG expects ad returns to remain “extremely challenging”, but it is supplementing print decline with online revenue gains to some extent.
— Staff growth: Strangely for a company that, like all its industry peers, made extensive redundancies last year — TMG’s headcount went up in 2008 from 996 to 1,036. In editorial staff numbers rose from 547 to 594. Since then, however, the publisher has devised cost-cutting measures such as outsourcing some production duties to Australia, so it’s highly unlikely we’ll see another staff rise in 2009.