Profits surge at Economist as digital gives turnover a boost

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The Independent Online

The Economist Group yesterday showed there is still money in quality journalism as pre-tax profits surged by 8.7 per cent to £64.7m in the year to March, against £59.5m in the previous 12 months.

Digital helped to boost turnover 4 per cent to £360.8m, with 123,000 paying subscribers, along with a record 1.624 million in print around the world.

"There is a huge opportunity for us and other media companies in smarting up, not dumbing down," said the chief executive, Andrew Rashbass, who added that tablets and smartphones were boosting readership.

"We're finding that people are really reading on these devices as opposed to the snacking, browsing and sharing we see on the web."

Mr Rassbass' package leapt 8 per cent to £1.05m.

John Micklethwait, pictured, The Economist's editor-in-chief, earned £631,000. The Financial Times owner Pearson has a 50 per cent stake in The Economist.