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

July 12, 2016

Strategy of pushing readers to premium packages of print and digital content pays off for magazine, which this year severed links with Pearson

The 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.

While advertising suffered the Economist credited its strategy of pushing readers to premium packages of print and digital with circulation profits up 31% year-on-year and digital subscriber numbers up 27% despite a fall in newsstand sales.

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And get more indepth insights into The Economist’s growth strategies in this Q&A with Subrata Mukherjee, VP of Product at The Economist.