The Financial Times grew revenues and profits in the first half of the year, driven by digital growth. Digital content revenues increased by double digits year on year, and content and services accounted for the greatest proportion of total revenues. Total circulation across print and online increased 9% year-on-year to 737,000, with digital subscriptions rising 14% to almost 520,000, lifted by the new access model offering paid trials.
Financial Times CEO John Ridding said: “We are seeing good momentum following the launch of our new digital access model, with growth in subscriptions, audience and repeat visits. Importantly, we are making progress in building habit and engagement, with our audience spending more time with the FT and reading more of our journalism.”
FirstFT has attracted the highest engagement level of any FT email. Weekly FT.com visits from its subscribers are up by more than a quarter,and its readers access 50% more articles on FT.com every week. Chartbeat analysis shows that FT subscribers spend three times longer on FT.com than readers on other media sites.
The FT’s advertising performance remains in line with 2014, with growth in digital and mobile advertising helping offset structural declines in print advertising. We continue to take market share globally and the FT’s pioneering “cost per hour” advertising metric, which delivers highly targeted, 100% viewable ad campaigns, is generating strong demand since its launch.
The Financial Publishing division, which includes titles such as The Banker, Investors Chronicle and Money-Media, saw revenues increase by double digits year on year across digital subscriptions, digital advertising and events. Investors Chronicle increased both print and digital subscribers.
In addition to a focus on digital, the FT has been innovating successfully across a series of physical formats, responding to demand and a desire for contact, conversation and community. We’ve seen double digit growth in events revenues and new initiatives include an FT Live Future of Europe series, which will culminate in a major summit in Brussels in 2016, and a number of events exploring the challenges and opportunities of digital disruption in the automotive, healthcare, banking and insurance industries. The 125 forum continues to grow its membership and hosted events on topics including cyber security, social media and managing globally diverse workforces, with speakers including former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.