Annual review 2023 | La Presse in a position to reinvest in journalism in Quebec

La Presse publishes its annual report which takes stock of its finances and reviews its major projects for the year.

La Presse’s mission is to provide quality information that is free and accessible to all. This mission, which guides our actions and decisions every day, is essential to give a voice to the community, to cover the news on a daily basis, to verify the facts rigorously, to analyze them, dissect them and explain them. In short, to help preserve a healthy democracy. Thanks, among other things, to our 56,000 donors in 2023, we ended the year with a positive balance sheet, which will allow us to contribute to our reserve fund to ensure our sustainability, and above all, to reinvest in a concrete way in our mission and in journalism in Quebec.

Thus, this winter we intend to contribute even more widely to what concerns you and add journalist positions to our newsroom. In the context of the implementation of a vast reform of the health network, at a time when we are recovering from a major health crisis, we will invest in covering this important issue that is health in our lives. We will also do this to follow very closely, on the ground, the next American presidential election, by multiplying the texts, analyses, files and trips. We will also pay increased attention to environmental and energy issues, which closely affect citizens.

We also plan to increase our presence in large cities outside of Montreal, which are the heart of the regions of Quebec.

In line with our mission of accessibility to all, it is essential for us to ensure quality regional information, so that a plurality of journalists can work to establish the facts, ask questions, investigate, analyze, add context to give you the truth, but also to better guide you in your life, in all communities.

These developments would not be possible without the efforts of all our teams and our unions. Collaboration remains at the heart of all of our initiatives and our success is due to the passion, dedication and commitment of our employees. It is also due to all those who support us, including our advertisers and donors. Thanks to them, we expect to record a net profit of $13 million* in 2023.

A business model that works

Independent, without commercial shareholders, La Presse operates within a non-profit structure. Its surplus is entirely reinvested in the mission and the organization. If La Presse can today evolve with confidence in a changing industry, it is because we have successfully concluded our bold but crucial digital transformation that began more than 10 years ago. A transformation that has allowed us to completely rethink our ways of doing things to be in line with the changing information consumption habits of our readers as well as the needs of our advertisers.

For more than five years now, this business model has been based on the diversification of our income.

In 2023, we saw an increase in our advertising revenue in a declining market. These results are attributable, among other things, to the innovations made each year in terms of our advertising product offering.

This offer is now largely based on the use of data and the fine segmentation of our audiences, while respecting the highest industry standards in terms of respect for privacy. It allows us to be competitive with certain tools offered by American digital giants, but in an ethical and local way.

La Presse has also adapted to the market in order to be able to reach more SMEs with the imminent launch of Atelier direct La Presse, a self-service platform which offers advertisers with more modest budgets the possibility of launching and managing effective and efficient campaigns, in complete autonomy and at lower costs.

The commitment of our donors

In 2023, more than 56,000 donors contributed to La Presse for a total of 7.8 million collected in donations, an increase of 13% compared to 2022. More than half of donors also offer a monthly contribution, which guarantees us a stable and predictable income. Added to this is a new type of annual donation launched in 2023, automatically renewed each year, which also aims to support us in the longer term.

This commitment means a lot to us and demonstrates the strength of our growing community of support.

Our donors help provide quality information free of charge to nearly 4 million readers who join our platforms each month, or around 60% of the French-speaking adult population of Quebec.

They allow us to continue to be there for you, and for all those who understand the importance of obtaining information from reliable, credible and rigorous sources. But also to renew and improve our content offering to add value to society. We would like to sincerely thank them for their renewed support, their generosity and, above all, their loyalty.

Government support

La Presse also benefits from standardized government programs accessible to all media. Our industry is currently going through an unprecedented crisis which directly affects the financing of newsrooms, and consequently, the public’s access to reliable and rigorous information. We would like to welcome the federal government’s announcement to increase its assistance with an increase in tax credits on editorial payroll. This decision, to which is added the implementation of the Online News Act and the conclusion of a historic agreement with Google for the payment of royalties to local media, demonstrates that the government recognizes and values ​​the essential work of the news media and their contribution to our democracy.

A reserve fund to ensure our sustainability

For two years now, we have been able to reinvest a portion of our surplus annually in a reserve fund, created to ensure the sustainability of our institution. The balance of this fund today is $40 million.

Our objective is to accumulate a significant sum allowing the sustainability and development of information in Quebec without being put at risk by economic fluctuations or large-scale technological changes which are increasingly complex and costly to achieve.

La Presse operates in an industry undergoing profound change and in a competitive environment dominated by web giants as well as large integrated players. It must therefore, as a responsible independent company, without commercial shareholders, increase its reserve fund.

An industry in upheaval

We have weathered many storms over the last 10 years to completely transform our products, then our business model, in order to be able to face the crisis that is hitting our industry hard. In 2023, media outlets have had to close their doors, or make significant staff reductions with an impact on newsrooms. The situation is worrying and it is essential that our ecosystem is strong and diverse in order to promote a plurality of opinions and counter misinformation.

In 2023, we continued to innovate in terms of our content, our products and our advertising infrastructure. Our newsroom has always delivered more impactful content to you, which has helped to make things happen.

The quality of our information was rewarded with seven prizes at the Canadian Journalism Competition, including that of journalist of the year for Isabelle Hachey, two Judith-Jasmin prizes as well as six Antoine-Desilets prizes which highlight the work of our photojournalists. The prestigious Press Freedom Prize was also awarded to the head of our investigative team, Vincent Larouche.

We are entering 2024 with the firm desire to continue to respond and adapt to your needs proactively, dear readers, to continue, thanks to your renewed support, our essential mission. To do this and to face the challenges that await us, we are counting on the commitment of our advertisers and on donations from large foundations and companies. All of them are essential pillars for the sustainability of our institution, but also for improving our coverage in all communities in Quebec.

* Excluding actuarial revaluations without impact on the cash flow and results of the reserve fund.


A special section will also be published on Sunday in The Press+.

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