Tomorrow's Business Today
The Guardian is rolling in cash
Shock news from The Guardian – it just made a ton of money. Not from newspapers, of course, but from what looks like stock picking.
The Telegraph’s take on The Graun’s latest results is that it is “under pressure to stop spilling red ink”.
The nuts and bolts are that the Guardian Media Group had a whacking £10 million operating loss for the year to March, still an improvement on the £17.5 million lost in 2020.
The Scott Trust set up to protect the paper wants to stop bailing it out every year.
It said: “In future the Scott Trust will manage the endowment more discretely from GMG’s operational finances, with clearer processes for capital allocation put in place so that the trust focuses on long-term investment in the future of the Guardian rather than meeting short-term funding requirements.”
So, on a day-to-day basis, the paper and website will have to mostly wash their own face.
The really striking bit is that on a pre-tax basis GMG actually made a £198 million profit thanks to gains on the trust’s investments.
Since the fund is about £1 billion in size, that’s getting on for a 20% return. Warren Buffett would be proud of that.
How did it do it? By the looks of it, with some very un-Guardian like private equity investments (don’t tell the readers).
The charge of hypocrisy is very easy to make, especially against the Guardian, which reeks of it.
But the good thing here is that the trust can plainly afford to keep funding the newspaper if necessary, perhaps in perpetuity. That is, after all, the entire point of the trust.
You don’t have to like the Guardian to think that’s a result, and not just for the newspaper trade.