Neil loses £4.7m but stays in 'The Business'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The Business, the financial weekly newspaper owned by the Barclay brothers, made an operating loss of £4.7m last year.

The Business, the financial weekly newspaper owned by the Barclay brothers, made an operating loss of £4.7m last year.

Andrew Neil, its editor-in-chief and presenter of the BBC's Daily Politics and This Week, said the newspaper is "within striking distance to break even". He said he expected The Business to lose £3.5m this year.

"It will take another couple of years of hard slog to get into the black," Mr Neil said. "But I want to see it through to the end."

Last year's losses are less than half the £10.5m loss for 2001, when the newspaper almost folded in the wake of the 11 September terrorist attacks in the US. The then Sunday Business was bought by the Barclays in 1998 and relaunched as The Business in January 2002 with a more international focus.

Accounts just filed show that accumulated losses have hit £51.1m, but this also includes losses relating to an expensive lease at the Sunday Business's former City offices at Waterhouse Square.

The paper's circulation is 214,000, which includes 120,000 free home deliveries.

Advertising revenues are up by 19 per cent on last year, with total revenues up 11 per cent, Mr Neil said. "The losses aren't going down fast enough for my liking. But they are going down to a more reasonable level. The newspaper is not haemorrhaging money like it was before."

Advertising revenues are picking up across the media sector after a three-year drought. Andrew Gowers, editor of the Financial Times, has called the advertising recession "the worst in living memory". Global advertising spending fell 6.1 per cent in 2001 on the previous year, with corporate advertising, which business-orientated newspapers like The Business and the FT rely on, plunging even further.

Last week, Pearson, the FT's owner, said it expected the daily newspaper to break even in the final quarter of this year.

Comments