Centaur issues warning as job ad revenues fall two thirds

Business-to-business publisher Centaur Media has revealed that January job advertising revenues were down by two thirds on the same period last year.

The owner of Marketing Week and New Media Age issued a profit warning to the City this morning – and said February was so far showing “few signs of improvement”.

Centaur is due to publish its half-year results next Thursday but today put out a trading update in advance, reporting “further deterioration” since it last updated shareholders at the beginning of January.

Shares in Centaur fell 30 per cent in early trading – down 10.75p to 23p at 8.20am.

The company said there was “significant weakness” in recruitment advertising, where revenues last month were a third of the level achieved in January 2008.

“These results reflect the extreme challenges faced by our clients at this time,” said the publisher, which also has titles in the struggling mortgage and fund management sectors.

“Unless there is a reduction in the recent rate of revenue decline for the remainder of this financial year, we anticipate our performance for the year to June 2009 to be significantly below the board’s expectations.”

Centaur said it had already made “significant” cost savings. These include the closure of its Precision Marketing and Public Private Finance titles.

A number of publicly listed newspaper and magazine publishers are scheduled to publish results next week.

They include Centaur, Thomson Reuters, Trinity Mirror and Wilmington, the B2B publisher of Solicitors Journal and Press Gazette.

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