Digital and international: APA accelerates transformation and growth in 2020

New digital products and major IT customers in the DACH region generate growth in revenue and earnings for the Austrian news agency group in the year of the pandemic – 2021: media login project and digital strategy development in the 75th year as an independent, private, media-owned cooperative

APA – Austria Press Agency presented an increase in result and revenue at its annual general meeting on Wednesday. Consolidated revenue was EUR 67.81 million in 2020 compared to EUR 66 million in 2019, thus the revenue growth achieved totalled 2.7 percent. APA-Group’s operating result (EBIT) in 2020 was EUR 5.1 million compared to EUR 2.16 million in 2019, thus profit on ordinary activities (POA) totalled EUR 3.72 million compared to EUR 2.14 million in 2019. The average number of full-time equivalent staff employed by the Group totalled 503 compared to 509 in 2019.

Virtual APA newsroom and anticyclical investments in the pandemic year

CEO Clemens Pig and Managing Director Karin Thiller summarise APA’s strategy in the pandemic year of 2020: “We quickly reset our sails when the corona crisis began. As a seasoned operational organisation, we switched to home office within a few hours and days with our approximately 600 employees. The APA newsroom was converted to virtual operation overnight. Due to our B2B business model and to strengthen our basic mission for the media as a cooperative, we acted anti-cyclically, developing new products and investing in new business areas in view of the significant increase in digital media use: for example, digital press conferences in the APA-Press Centre for communicators, live streaming and live blogs as well as corona fact checks for editorial offices, AI-based news production for the creation of additional editorial content, social media analytics and media monitoring for information professionals, expansion of the digital newsstand with e-paper services for organisations as well as new IT hosting and security offers and smart services as well as CMS and eGovernment solutions in the technology sector for companies and public administration in Switzerland. We extend a major thank you to the entire APA team, who are doing an outstanding job in these pandemic times,“ Pig and Thiller say.

“Totally digital” in APA’s 2021 anniversary year

In 2021, APA is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its foundation as a private cooperative owned by Austrian media. APA is one of only 20 news agencies worldwide that are free and independent of the state and receives no public funding. Under the slogan “totally digital”, APA presented its new digital strategy in the current anniversary year, focusing on the digital workplace, digital platforms and digital business.

Ongoing digitalisation measures include the technical development of a prototype for an Austrian media login, the creation of new digital job profiles at APA-Group and the successful certification of APA’s editorial staff with the International Fact-Checking Network. “75 years of APA mean 75 years of independence. The European environment, in particular has shown us that the political and economic independence of media and news agencies doesn’t come out of the blue. As an independent news agency, it will be all the more important for us to be able to finance ourselves from our own resources in the future as well. APA’s new digital strategy is the perfect prerequisite for this: innovations are our best life insurance,” APA CEO Clemens Pig says.

Commemorative publication:

Festschrift 75 Jahre APA | APA – Austria Presse Agentur