The Sun shows significant financial improvement in latest figures, reaching huge audiences and breaking massive stories

RESULTS released by the publisher of the Sun and Sun on Sunday today showed a significant improvement over the course of last financial year, despite the ongoing impact of the pandemic on the newspaper industry.

According to newly published accounts, News Group Newspapers, which is part of News Corporation, saw a pre-tax loss of £51.1million for the year to 27 June 2021.

That compares with £201.5 million the year before.

The bulk of the latest loss for 2021, or £49million, was due to legal fees and the cost of other newspaper matters related to the closure of News of the World which was a part of the same company.

This cost is covered by an indemnity from Fox Corp and is down significantly from £80million the year before.

By another key earnings measure, Ebitda – Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation – the group made £13million, which was up from £2.3 million the year before.

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The Sun continued to increase its investment in digital, building its presence in the US to become one of the fastest growing sites there and reaching huge digital audiences both there and in the UK.

It remains the number one newsbrand in Britain reaching 28.7M people per month, according to industry standard PAMCo measurements.

Revenue for the year was £319million, compared to £324million the year before, as a result of “adverse print market conditions exacerbated by the pandemic, particularly Monday to Friday”.

This performance has improved since the end of the first lockdown, the accounts said. In the most recent quarter – the most profitable ever at The Sun's ultimate owner News Corp – News UK’s revenues grew seven per cent.

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News Corp CEO Robert Thomson said: "News UK had its highest second quarter profit contribution since fiscal 2011, helped by an acceleration in digital paid subscriber growth.

"In addition, The Sun's traffic has surged, with global monthly uniques for December 2021 up 25% to 163 million (using News Corps internal metrics) and our US Sun site growing rapidly."

In the News Corp Q2 earnings to December, CFO Susan Panuccio: "News UK advertising revenues rose 23%, or 21% in local currency with impressive digital advertising growth. 

"In fact, at The Sun, digital advertising surpassed print for the first time driven by improved number of page views and higher yields."

Significant stories in 2021 included revelations of Matt Hancock's Covid-rule breaking affair – which won Scoop of the Year, and the recruitment of more than 50,000 volunteers via the Jabs Army campaign.

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