Centaur expects profits to rise despite print decline

B2B publisher Centaur is set to report an increase in pre-tax profits for the year, despite a continuing decline in print revenues.

The group, which publishes titles including The Lawyer, Marketing Week and The Engineer, said today that a fresh round of “significant” cost-cutting and double-digit growth in digital revenues had helped it stay on track.

But it warned that it would respond to “challenging conditions” in the economy by looking at further opportunities to reduce costs.

In a trading update ahead of its end-of-year results in September, Centaur said print revenues for the first half of 2008 had fallen by eight per cent compared with the same period last year.

“Market conditions have weakened during the course of 2008,” the company said. “The decline in our print revenues has continued.”

Centaur publishes a number of titles for the financial services sector, which the group said had been among the worst hit by the economic downturn. The titles include Mortage Strategy, Mortgage Distributor and Lending Strategy.

“We anticipate that trading conditions will remain challenging, leading to further weakness in print revenues,” Centaur added.

But it said revenue from events and online products was continuing to grow, adding: “We continue to identify new product opportunities to further offset this period of cyclical weakness.”

Centaur is due to announce its end-of-year results, covering the 12 months to the end of June, on 18 September.

The group publishes nine weekly or fortnightly magazines, 18 other titles and 20 online products. It also organises 20 annual exhibitions and 50 conferences.

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