Events provide profit boost for United Business Media

A move from print towards events has helped B2B group United Business Media to a double-digit increase in both revenue and profits.

But the publisher has warned that some of its key trade titles, such as The Publican and Building, are showing signs of a slowdown in classified recruitment advertising.

Announcing its half-year results this morning, the parent company of Music Week publisher CMP Information said 85 per cent of its profits now came from trade shows and exhibitions.

Overall revenues in the first half of 2008 rose 10.4 per cent year on year to £445.6m. Operating profit on a like-for-like basis was up 11.4 per cent to £90.2m.

Profits at CMP Information, UBM’s main B2B magazine publishing wing, were up 1.6 per cent to £19.4m, with revenue up 6.2 per cent to £99.9m.

The company said titles in “licensed trade and construction” had seen declining conditions in classified advertising. But it singled out Farmers Guardian, which it said had shown “solid growth”.

UBM said the restructuring of CMP Medica – the division that publishes titles including The Practitioner and Pulse – had resulted in a 44 per cent rise in profit to £17.3m.

The company has so far spent £32m this year on acquisitions. Today it announced the purchase of four additional trade shows for CMPi, covering interior design, security and direct marketing.

The UBM chief executive, David Levin, said: “We are on track to deliver another good full-year performance.

“Our businesses are generating a growing proportion of their revenues and profits from products which take advantage of the long term structural changes taking place in media markets.”

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