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Financial Times Group – 2013 results

The Financial Times Group achieved profits of £55m, an underlying increase of 17% year-on-year. This was driven by strong growth in digital and content businesses and improved print circulation margins which more than offset weak advertising. Digital and services revenues accounted for 55% of FT Group revenues (31% in 2008). Content revenues comprised 63% of revenues (48% in 2008), while advertising accounted for 37% of FT Group revenues (52% in 2008).

Key highlights in 2013 include:

  • The FT’s total circulation grew 8% year-on-year to 652,000 across print and online, the highest paying readership in its 126-year history. FT.com digital subscriptions grew 31% to 415,000, more than offsetting planned reductions in print circulation. Digital subscribers now represent almost two-thirds of the FT’s total paying audience and corporate users grew nearly 60% to more than 260,000.
  • FT digital content revenues exceeded print content revenues in 2013 for the first time.
  • Mobile is an increasingly important channel for the FT, driving 62% of subscriber consumption, 45% of total traffic and almost a quarter of new digital subscriptions. The FT’s flagship web app now has more than 5 million users and new FT apps on Google Newsstand and Flipboard have strengthened our mobile offering. Other innovations, including launching 24-hour news service fastFT, redesigns to mobile apps and improvements to FT.com, have helped significantly increase overall digital engagement.
  • Ads are resilient with luxury and financial particularly strong in digital. The FT continues to innovate with creative new products such as ‘FT Smart Match’ which uses an emerging technology called semantic profiling to allow advertisers to match their content to relevant FT.com stories in real time.
  • The FT continues to expand its executive education business. FT in Education products, including annotation tool FT Newslines, are now used by almost 300 education institutions, including 37 of the world’s top 50 business schools. The FT launched its Non-Executive Director (NED) Diploma inHong Kong. More than a third of NED enrolments are now outside the UK and 215 students have graduated so far.
  • On 15 February we launched the first stage of a global FT Weekend brand campaign across TV, radio, print, cinema, outdoor and digital media. This is our largest ever marketing initiative for FT Weekend and aims to showcase the breadth of content readers can expect to find in the title. We are introducing a new FT Weekend newspaper subscription offer to coincide with the campaign, available at www.ft.com/weekendsub. We will be rolling the campaign out in the US in March and Asia in April. FT Weekend delivered YOY revenue growth in 2013 with House & Home and howtospendit.com (tablet and desktop) performing particularly strongly.

For more detail see the Pearson press release here.

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About the Financial Times:

The Financial Times, one of the world’s leading business news organisations, is recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing essential news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community, the FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of 652,000 across (Deloitte assured, Q4 2013). Mobile is an increasingly important channel for the FT, driving 62% of subscriber consumption, 45% of total traffic and almost a quarter of new digital subscriptions. FT education products now serve 37 of the world’s top 50 business schools.

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