Guardian News & Media (GNM), publishers of the Guardian and the Observer increased operating losses to £26.4m. The parent owners GMG would also have reported operating losses of £24.8 million were it not for the £334.8m sale of a 49.9% stake in Auto Trader, to Ronnie Cohen’s evil capitalist private equity vultures, Apax Partners. The online arm’s separate Guardian Unlimited identity has been dropped (it was more unkindly known by some as “Guardian Unlimited Losses”).
Incidentally the annual report reveals they paid £15.3 million in taxes last year despite claiming a group profit before taxation of £306.4 million after the sale of Auto Trader. GMG have always been adept at using the Scott Trust and other dodges to minimise tax charges. Guido congratulates them on achieving an effective tax rate 4.99%. Remember that the next time Polly Toynbee calls for higher taxes and everyone to pay a fair share.
Controversial Smith Institute trustee and Chairman of the Guardian Media Group Paul Myners warned: “We expect the uncertainty within the UK economy to have an impact on a number of the group’s revenue streams in the coming year.” Translation : we will lose more money next year.
Incidentally, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger got by on a total compensation package of a mere £544000 up from £473,000 last year. A 15% increase as a reward for losing £26.4 million – no belt tightening for him.
Handy having your friends, rather than shareholders, decide your pay isn’t it?