Financial Times Faces Weak Ad Market

Another struggle for 125-year-old Pearson publication

The Financial Times is facing a weak advertising market, despite subscription gains, The Guardian reported. Parent company Pearson said it's because a number of large ad campaigns are planned for the second quarter, whereas last year they ran in the first quarter.

Despite the blow to ad revenue, Financial Times digital subscriptions increased by 4 percent in the first quarter, to 328,000. The business news publication has a global paid and digital circulation of 602,000.

Pearson, a London-based company that also owns publisher Penguin, said that FT is "benefitting from resilient demand for content and services."

Still, along with others in the industry, print ad revenue has been challenged in recent months and digital advertising has been slow to make up for it. There’s growing competition for the global business reader, from the likes of The Wall Street Journal, Reuters and Bloomberg LP. In February, there were rumors that the 125-year-old paper would be sold.

Pearson's overall revenues fell 1 percent to  $1.8 billion in the first quarter. Penguin, which is being merged with Random House, had a solid first quarter. Pearson said that its revenue is usually "heavily weighted" to the second half of the year.