Haymarket chairman offers reward for cost-saving ideas

The chairman and founder of Haymarket Media Group, Michael Heseltine, has offered a reward to staff who suggest the best money-saving initiatives for the magazine publisher.

In a rare email to all UK staff, seen by Press Gazette, Heseltine said Haymarket would offer a total of £10,000 to be divided among staff who make the best suggestions as the company prepares its budget for the coming year.

The email from Heseltine, which some staff have said is his first all-staff email in years, said: “There is inevitably a significant element of judgement involved but this year will be especially challenging.

“Every day we read of the economic uncertainties that the global downturn is injecting into the planning of many companies, including our advertisers who will themselves be preparing plans for next year.”

Heseltine explained that the company was expecting a number of cost increases including paper, power and postage, and said that although it was the responsibility of the managers to ‘reach judgements about these things as best we may”, he would be interested to hear any ideas from staff on how to save money.

A team of staff will appraise the proposals sent in and allocate the money.

Last month, Haymarket revealed flat sales for 2007 and in a statement warned of tough times to come.

The company’s statement said: ‘There is no alternative but a note of caution as we look at the current year and 2009.

“Trading conditions are tightening in many fields. Serious increase in costs and reduced consumer demand urge caution.”

Turnover at Haymarket, which also hosts live events, exhibitions and websites, was up one percent to £247m in the 12 months to 31 December 2007 and pre-tax profit increased by five percent to £32m.

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