revenue (2021: £310m)
operating profit (2021: £42m)
adjusted earnings per share* (2021: 155.3p)
*Adjusted earnings per share is defined in note 1 to the financial statements
basic earnings per share (2021: 83.8p)
dividend (2021: 100p)
indicative share value (2021: £25.00)
From the chair
The past year has shown once again that there are no substitutes for clear analysis and actionable insights in a world which continues to be volatile and uncertain.
And, once again, everyone at The Economist Group should be proud of the lengths they have gone to in order to stay true to our values and deliver outstanding journalism and insight for our readers and clients.
The Group’s full-year operating profit of £46.4m has exceeded expectations, up £4.6m (+11%) compared to last year, thanks in large part to the growth in revenues and customer numbers in all four of our businesses. And this growth comes while we continue to make significant investments in our digital capability, which is a cornerstone of our strategy for achieving sustainable top- and bottom-line growth.
“We are now well set on our journey to make sure everything we do meets the same standards of excellence that are consistently shown by The Economist.”
Lord Paul Deighton
From the chief executive
We champion progress by helping people and organisations understand and navigate the most critical challenges facing them, and the world.
That's the “red thread” that connects everyone in The Economist Group. And it is a longstanding purpose that is as relevant now as it has ever been, in a year which has seen division and debate over global issues including the war in Ukraine, the low-carbon transition and the ongoing covid-19 pandemic.
Throughout, we’ve provided rigorous analysis, trusted insight and expertise—while remaining staunchly independent. We have also completed the simplification of our brand framework, and now go to market with four customer-facing businesses and continued to invest in the rapid development of our digital offer, which is critical to our future growth.
All four businesses grew their customer numbers and revenues, resulting in total revenue for the Group of an impressive £346m, up 12% on last year.
“With our excellent performance this year we’ve continued to build a platform for sustainable growth which means we can keep delivering high quality editorial and innovative products to our customers.”
Group chief executive
From the editor-in-chief
Pestilence, war and famine. Biblical depictions of the apocalypse are not natural territory for The Economist, but look around the world today and it is hard to avoid the Horsemen coming to mind. China is still consumed with a brutal battle to contain covid-19. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought Europe’s biggest war since 1945 and threatens to precipitate a food catastrophe. Inflation is at its highest rate in a generation, the prospect of recession is growing and a globalised world risks fragmentation. The stakes for our journalism could not be higher.
“Mind-stretching analysis has always been the core of Economist journalism. Our challenge today is to ensure that it reaches our subscribers in whatever form they wish to consume it.”
Zanny Minton Beddoes
Business review: The Economist
Trustworthy, relevant analysis. Delivered to more people, in more ways.
At The Economist, we are clear about what makes us stand out: timely provision of insight and intelligence; quality, not quantity; rigour and wit. Our journalism is now flourishing on our apps, website, social media, and in podcasts and videos, alongside our weekly print edition.
subscribers (in line with 2021)
revenue at constant currency
of new subscribers digital-only
Espresso: a refreshed daily online briefing for readers on the go
Espresso was founded as a daily global briefing for readers on the go. In March 2022 we relaunched it with new features, more frequent updates, and a sleeker design. Espresso has wide appeal, but we think it will be especially attractive in emerging markets and among younger customers. We also know it will appeal to those who are more time- and price-sensitive—and to people who are new to the brand and just want to get to know us a little better.
Business review: Economist Impact
Growing strongly through rigour and creativity.
It has been a tremendous year for Economist Impact, which we officially launched in September 2021 as a single, cohesive business combining policy research, media and events. We give clients a seamless opportunity to draw on the expertise of The Economist Group–and we've delivered record sales.
total revenue from partnerships
integrated deal size
integrated revenue share of total revenue
Economist Events: enabling more insights than ever. Delivering record results.
Our transformed approach to delivering events and our continuing focus on curating world-class content has produced a year of outstanding revenues and profits.
The Sustainability Project – an Impact Initiative in action
The world needs to find new ways to partner and collaborate if progress is going to happen. That’s why we launched The Sustainability Project, a new forum combining insights, innovation and influence to convene and actively engage global stakeholders with the power to effect real change.
Business review: Economist Intelligence
Bringing clarity to an uncertain world through trusted insight and analysis.
We've brought together the research, analysis and forecasting capabilities that have been helping clients understand the forces shaping their businesses for 75 years now—and found new ways to provide award-winning, trusted insights through new digital products, a joined-up commercial structure, and greater engagement with our clients.
retention rate in EIU subscriptions
increase in core EIU subscriber base
ESG Ratings Service: changing the game for assessing sustainability risks
The subjects covered under the shorthand title of “ESG” are complex and fast- moving—and understanding them is increasingly critical to our clients. This year we launched our ESG Ratings Service, a new EIU product that sets out to bring more clarity to this vital area by going beyond the headlines to measure the impact that governments, businesses and society have on ESG sustainability.
Business review: Economist Education
A fast-paced year for a small but growing business.
Economist Education offers executive-education courses that draw on the rigour and concision of experts and global thought leaders to provide excellence in learning.
In its first full year, Economist Education brought The Economist’s world view and distinctive analysis to students in 73 countries. This year, we’ll expand the number of courses while looking beyond the consumer market to sell directly to companies seeking to develop the skills and knowledge of their key talent.
Engaging our students. Positioned to grow..
Through online courses designed and written by our journalists and editors, we deliver actionable insights, practical skills and networking opportunities to help participants advance in their careers and shape the future of their organisations.
Sustainability at The Economist Group
Our purpose is to champion progress in everything we do, and we know that we have a role to play in addressing the environmental and social challenges that face our world. We call our Group-wide approach 'sustainable progress'—and we've made important steps forward this year.
colleagues in 23 countries across the globe
our GHG emissions reduction since base year 2020
contributed by the Group to the Charitable Trust
As we continue to weave sustainability into the fabric of our growth strategy and operations, we are developing our environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy based on five key priorities —content, colleagues, communities, climate and environment and governance.
Working with Code First Girls to help build a more diverse tech sector
The Economist Group is partnering with Code First Girls, a provider of free technology and coding courses for women. To support the initiative's mission to reduce the gender diversity gap in the technology sector, we launched a series of eight-week web development courses in October 2021.
From the chief financial officer
Excellent financial performance––and continued investment in our strategy of digital transformation.
Double-digit revenue growth resulted in the highest-ever revenue for the Group for our continuing businesses. We maintained the strong operating profit margin reported in the prior year, and operating profit increased by 11% to £46.4m, the highest for our continuing businesses since 2016. Each of our four businesses grew, with a particularly strong performance from Economist Impact, now a £100m+ revenue business, and continuing benefits from the strongly improving customer lifetime value of subscribers to The Economist, more of whom now take digital subscriptions.
“We made important investments in our digital capability, including the completion of our FCX customer-management platform, the mobile app (including the launch of the new Espresso app), and EIU’s Viewpoint platform.”
Chief financial officer
Our governance report aims to bring together how we comply with the most relevant codes of corporate governance practice—the Wates Corporate Governance Principles for Large Private Companies—with a description of our guiding principles and our unique governance model.
Access the full report or individual sections here