The Guardian has posted a small profit for the full-year, marking the first time the media group has been in the black since 1998.
Guardian News and Media (GNM) posted a profit of £0.8m in the year to April, up from a loss of 23m the previous year.
Revenues increased three per cent to £223m.
The firm’s costs before exceptional items were £222m, compared to £235m the year before.
Why it’s interesting
While the Guardian’s annual profit is marginal, the figures will be viewed as a major victory for the company, which has been battling to turn around its struggling finances.
It is the first time the company has broken even since 1998, and the results come at the end of a three-year transformation strategy launched by editor Katherine Viner and chief executive David Pemsel in 2016.
The results mark a significant turnaround for the firm’s core news division, which had posted a £57m loss three years ago.
While the Guardian has opted not to set up a paywall on its website, it has launched a campaign asking readers to donate money to fund its reporting.
The newspaper said it now has more than 655,000 monthly paying supporters, as well as an additional 300,000 one-off contributors in the last year.
The Guardian has also slashed costs by laying off hundreds of staff members, as well as switching from its trademark Berliner format to the more cost-effective tabloid size.
The results show a marked shift in focus to the company’s digital business, which now accounts for 55 per cent of owner Guardian Media Group’s (GMG) total revenues. By contrast, print advertising now represents less than eight per cent of revenue.
In addition, GNM met its target of reducing costs by over 20 per cent.
The figures do not include an annual payment of between £25m and £30m due to the GMG’s non-profit owner the Scott Trust which, if included, would take the group into a loss.
However, the Scott Trust does not take a dividend from the GMG’s businesses, and reinvests the profits.
What the Guardian said
Editor-in-chief Katharine Viner said: “In times of extraordinary political and economic upheaval the need for quality, independent reporting and commentary has never been greater. Guardian journalism is flourishing – holding the powerful to account and exploring new ideas.”
GMG chief executive said: “Over the last three years we have made a huge amount of progress, and I’m exceptionally proud of how far we’ve come.
“Achieving these results is testament to the absolute commitment and ingenuity of everyone within the organisation.”