The Guardian Australia has responded with a statement to an article published in News Corp’s The Australian which it claims were “misleading”.
The article from News Corp, published in the media section on December 8, claimed The Guardian had “just two years to prove itself commercially viable” before a loan was called in.
The article said documents had been obtained by The Australian that revealed a “horror story of decline” since the launch of The Guardian’s Australian website in May 2013.
Managing director of The Guardian Australia, Ian McClelland, had responded to The Australian’s request for comment.
The Australian article references investor Graeme Wood for helping to make the site’s launch possible, however does not hold any equity within The Guardian. The article said the loss to date for The Guardian was up to $14 million.
Read the full article here.
However, in a statement published on The Guardian site, the publication said there had been a “misleading article published in yesterday’s edition of The Australian”.
Below is the statement in full.
“Guardian Australia has exceeded projected growth in this market, we had a revenue increase of 64 per cent last year and our monthly unique audience has reached 2 million plus readers (Nielsen). Our anticipated revenue growth for this year is even greater and our spending is in accordance with our business plan. We strongly believe there is scope for multiple news brands in the Australian market and we welcome the diversity of opinions.
“Guardian Australia is owned by GMG and The Scott Trust, which has assets of over $2bn. We have external financing to fund the start up costs of the Australian venture. The investor has no equity, board seat or say in the operating of the business. There is no specific timeline for the debt to be repaid.
“Our mission is to build a sustainable business in Australia, with Australian staff and paying Australian taxes. The business is currently on plan and has exceeded the expectations of the original plan. The overall financial stability of the group has allowed the Guardian to make vital investments in our digital products, our global expansion, local editorial teams, native advertising, data and programmatic capabilities. Our ability to make these investments at this time puts us in an extremely strong position compared with some local competitors.”
News Corp declined to comment.