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Digital editions add to record profits for The Economist Group

18 June 2012
Digital editions add to record profits for The Economist Group
The Economist Group has posted a record operating profit of £67.3m ($105.5m) for its financial year ending March 31 2012, buoyed by significant growth in its digital products.

Circulation for The Economist reached more than 1.6m over the year, comprised of 1.5m in print and 123,000 in digital editions. Circulation-based revenue from The Economist and the group’s other publications The World In and Intelligent Life rose 6% with digital circulation revenue more than doubling.

“More and more people all round the world want to be challenged by what they read. There is a huge opportunity for us and other media companies in smarting up, not dumbing down,” says The Economist Group chief executive Andrew Rashbass. “Tablets and smartphones provide a great platform for this. We’re finding that people are really reading on these devices as opposed to the snacking, browsing and sharing we see on the web. We see it as a new age of lean-back reading.”

Ad revenue from print and digital editions of the Group’s products rose by 2%. Revenue from digital advertising alone rose by 25%.

“It is very reassuring that even in these difficult times ever more people want to read us – and are prepared to pay for it,” says The Economist editor-in-chief John Micklethwait. “We expect that they will increasingly read us on digital devices, rather than print, but our main job remains the same: to interest, amuse, inform and provoke them.”

The Economist Group’s digital ad network, Ideas People, launched in the UK last month. It offers audience targeting functionality without the use of cookies.

David Hing, London


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