The parent company of the Guardian and Observer cut its losses by more than a third to £45m in the last financial year and more than quadrupled its number of paying members, as it seeks to break even within two years.
Guardian Media Group said total revenues increased by 2.4% to £214.5m in the year to 2 April, thanks to the popularity of its membership scheme, one-off contributions and growth in international operations.
Paid-for membership, a core part of the Guardian’s plans to counteract the steep falls in print ad revenue affecting all newspaper publishers and slow digital ad growth, rose from 50,000 to more than 230,000 in the year to 2 April.
The number of readers paying for print and digital subscriptions stayed stable at about 185,000 and there have been more than 190,000 one-off contributions. A cover price increase of 20p last April also helped buoy revenues. The Guardian increased its total digital revenues by 15% to £94.1m, a figure that includes membership income, contributions and philanthropic and grant-funded