Telegraph publisher reports falling profits in "challenging" environment

William Turvill
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Barclay Brothers Buy Telegraph Newspaper Titles
Telegraph Media Group publishes the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph (Source: Getty)

The publisher of the Daily Telegraph has reported falling profits, in line with many other Fleet Street titles this year.

The figures

Telegraph Media Group (TMG) which is owned by Sir David and Frederick Barclay, has reported an operating profit of £51.7m in the 53 weeks to 3 January this year.

The company’s operating profit in the 52 weeks to 28 December 2014 was £54.9m.

On a 52-week, like-for-like basis, it said operating profit before exceptional items for 2015 was £48.3m – a more than 11 per cent drop on 2014’s figure.

Read more: Telegraph newspaper not for sale, say owners after rebuffing approaches

Turnover for the 53 weeks came in at £320.1m, which is an increase on £318.1m in 2014. But, on a like-for-like basis, revenue was down slightly to £314.6m.

The company said that, on a like-for-like basis, it had recorded double-digit digital turnover and a “marginal” growth in circulation revenues, which “partially mitigated” single digit declines in print advertising revenues.

Why it’s interesting

TMG acknowledged that it was operating in a “challenging print advertising trading environment”. But, the group remains one of the most profitable newspaper publishers in the UK.

How the Telegraph compares with "broadsheet" newspaper publisher rivals

Company Turnover (year-on-year % change) Operating profit/ loss before exceptional items
Telegraph Media Group £314.6m (-1) Profit: £48.3m
Guardian Media Group £209.5m (-4) Loss: £79.8m
Times Newspapers £344.9m (-1) Profit: £21m

Earlier this year, the Telegraph cut a number of jobs following an operational review conducted by Deloitte.

The company said cost savings, made primarily from newsprint and production, are being “reinvested in digital operations”.

Read more: More Fleet Street job cuts (and a canteen closure) as Telegraph cuts costs

There have been rumours that the Barclay brothers are keen to sell Telegraph Media Group. But it emerged last month that they had rebuffed approaches from two high-profile media figures.

A spokesperson for the Barclay family said: “There are no plans to sell TMG or any part of it and there never have been.”

What the company said

The group delivered a good trading performance set against a challenging print advertising trading environment and the ongoing investment in the transformation of the business.

Cost savings primarily from newsprint and production were reinvested in digital operations.

So far in 2016 the advertising market has continued to be challenging across the industry. The group has been undertaking an operational review to ensure it is best placed to meet the demands of the continuing deep structural change within the industry.

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