13 July 2017 – Reinier Kist
Circulation of NRC Handelsblad and nrc.next rose in 2016 and profit increased by 6.6 per cent.
Last year NRC Media, the publisher of NRC Handelsblad, nrc.next and nrc.nl, posted better results than the year before. Paid sales of the newspaper titles were up and the number of reading minutes on the nrc.nl site increased by 20 percent. Although turnover declined by 5.3 percent in 2016, to €103 million, this decline was offset by lower print and distribution costs and lower procurement costs at the webshop. Consequently, gross profit (ebitda) rose to €19.4 million, which is 6.6 percent more than the previous year. Net profit was €4.7 million, up 47 percent on 2015.
These figures are all derived from the 2016 annual report. Last year, when publishing its 2015 annual report, NRC Media reported a fall in net profit of almost a third and a three percent drop in turnover.
The number of full-time subscriptions for NRC Handelsblad, based on a weighted subscription count, increased by seven percent in 2016 to 188,336. For nrc.next the number of subscribers rose by five percent to 43,005, and for nrc.nl by 74 percent to 3,171 subscribers. These figures differ from the often-used circulation statistics of the NOM research institute, which uses a distribution key and does not include nrc.nl in its calculations. According to NOM, the circulation of NRC Handelsblad grew by eight percent to 201,750 copies, with nrc.next up by 2.9 percent to 43,260.
The management called 2016 “A good year for NRC”. Content-wise, the morning and afternoon issues of the newspaper were brought closer together and paid access to the website was introduced.
“Last year our editorial staff worked differently,” said editor-in-chief Peter Vandermeersch. “Our most important podium has now switched from tomorrow’s newspaper to today’s website. During the past year, making a conscious choice for a digital-first strategy led to a better, quicker and more relevant website. And our decision to produce morning and afternoon editions of the same newspaper has fuelled better paper-based journalism in both editions.”