Journalism helps Reach weather pandemic
As the UK’s biggest commercial employer of journalists, it is heartening to see Reach plc boss Jim Mullen acknowledge that the group emerged as a stronger business through the worst pandemic in a century due to the ‘hard work of our people’.
Chris Morley, Reach NUJ national coordinator, said:
"As the UK's biggest commercial employer of journalists, it is heartening to see Reach plc boss Jim Mullen acknowledge that the group emerged as a stronger business through the worst pandemic in a century due to the 'hard work of our people'.
"Although the company clearly took a hit due to Covid-19, as did many businesses in the industry. the fundamentals for Reach appear strong – particularly with journalism becoming increasingly important to the bottom line. Double digit growth in digital revenue to £118m is built on the huge audience – and engagement of those readers – that our members are generating with their stories.
"We note that the company managed to more than double the cash balance it held from £20m, at the start of the pandemic, to £42m now. It has increased its profit margin to a 'very strong' 22.3% and announced a 5.2% increase in dividends to shareholders.
"We should not forget that all this was achieved thanks to the amazing and immediate transfer of our members working from home to keep the business functioning in the Covid crisis, while having to endure a painful restructuring that led to hundreds of journalists losing their jobs.
"The company cut £35m from its annual costs in the transformation of its business last summer and our members hope that 2021 and the years to come will be a time to consolidate around the company's declared key priority to 'maintain quality journalism'. That means having a well-resourced editorial function and journalists whose morale is high knowing they have the support of their bosses."