Economist profits up to £61m as paid subscriptions offset 18% print ad fall

EconomistThe Economist grew profits to more than £60m last year overcoming an 18% fall in print ad revenues by focusing on pushing its premium print and digital subscription packages to readers.

The weekly business magazine managed a strong year despite navigating arguably the biggest upheaval in its 173-year history with Pearson, the former owner of the Financial Times, selling its 50% stake to existing shareholders led by an investment company headed by the heir to the Fiat business.

The Economist Group managed to boost operating profit from £59.3m to £60.6m in the year to the end of March, a creditable performance given the pressures facing publishers.

The company said that print advertising fell by 18% last year, at constant currencies, and at closer to 10% when the impact of the strong US dollar is included. Nevertheless it has now dropped to such a level – while areas such as digital advertising have grown significantly – that the overall ad revenue decline was just 8%.

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