Britain’s Guardian Media sees first revenue rise in 5 years

Guardian Media Group expects its revenue to rise for the first time in six years

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The owner of Britain’s center-left Guardian newspaper said on Tuesday it expected its revenue to rise for the first time in six years as it foresaw a boost from digital advertising and sponsored content.

Guardian Media Group (GMG) said it expected a 20 percent rise in 2013-14 digital revenue to 70 million pounds ($117 million), with overall revenue expected to rise more than 5 percent to 206 million.

The company - which includes the Guardian, the Observer and guardian.com - said a rise in website advertising, sponsored content from firms such as Unilever, and its operations in the United States and Australia would all push up revenue.

In recent years, British newspapers have tried a raft of different and often divergent attempts to lure readers away from free newspapers and online content.

Whereas the Guardian.com is free to access, The Times of London and tabloid The Sun are among newspapers to have placed content behind paywalls, with offers of video content and access to other pay-for sites such as Spotify used to attract subscribers.

In January, GMG agreed to sell its 50.1 percent stake in its cash-generative Trader Media Group, which owns the Auto Trader classified cars sales website and magazine, to private equity firm Apax for around 600 million pounds ($1 billion).

Profit from Trader Media Group had previously helped offset operating losses at GMG’s newspapers, which totaled 47 million pounds in the year to Mar. 31 2013, an improvement on the 63 million pounds recorded 12 months earlier.

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