UK magazine publishers should look overseas for significant growth opportunities as the industry emerges from recession, according to Haymarket boss Lord Heseltine.
Speaking at a dinner celebrating 90 years of the Periodical Publishers Association, Heseltine told industry executives that although business conditions over the past two or three years had been “among the worst experiences in recent memory”, he could not remember a time when the “sense of opportunity had been greater than it is today”.
Ambitious and entrepreneurial companies, he said, should look at international growth if they want to take advantage of the widespread opportunities available. “Globalisation is opening the world to hitherto national products of the printed word – there are more people learning English in China than the entire population of the UK.”
He vowed that Haymarket – the company which he founded, and the largest privately owned publishing company in the UK – would double its turnover in the next 10 years. It already earns more than a quarter of its revenue from overseas markets, with editions in 23 languages and operations or licensed titles in countries including the US, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, India, Australia and Germany.
Heseltine was collecting the Marcus Morris Award for outstanding contribution to the magazine industry.
By Ian Reeves