Emap reports revenue growth for the first time in 'many years'

Business publishing and events company Top Right Group saw operating profits slump by 60 per cent in 2012 – but there was a return to growth for publishing arm Emap.

The group, previously known as Emap before a rebrand last year, made a profit of £23.6 million over the year, down from £59.6 million in 2011.

Much of the loss came from some £41.1 million written off after the group was restructured into three units (a combination of restructuring costs and writing down the value of assets).

Revenue remained stable, growing slightly from £249.4 million to £251.7 million.

Overall pre-tax profits from the group more than tripled, from £52.4 million to £186.2 million, mainly on the back of the sale of car valuation database business CAP.

Top Right’s magazine publishing arm, which retains the Emap name, increased profits by 17 per cent from £13.4 million to £15.7 million on turnover of £71.3m (up from £71.1m).  

Executive chairman Tom Hall said in the annual report: "I am particularly pleased to report that Emap returned, after many years of  declining advertising revenues, to growth, seeing a 4 per cent uplift on a like for like basis."

Emap includes brands such as Construction News, Health Service Journal and Nursing Times. The annual report said of Emap: "Subscription revenues were flat year on year with  volumes stabilising in the second half of the year,  indicating growth returning to a volatile market.  

"Marketing solutions revenues grew year on year  driven by digital revenues, seeing a reduced reliance  on traditional print revenues. The awards business  continued the strong growth of prior years, driven by  increased sponsorship and table sales. Recruitment  revenues stabilised across the business, posting year  on year growth driven by a strong increase from digital revenues."

Data and information branch 4C – which includes Planet Retail and Infrastructure Journal – saw profits jump from £30.2 million to £177.4 million as a result of the CAP sale.

Top Right, which is jointly owned by private equity firm Apax and Guardian Media Group,  has been the subject of speculation that it will sell off further assets.

However, chief executive Duncan Painter said there would be no break up of the company until at least 2017, according to the Guardian.

Read the full Top Right Group annual report for 2012.

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