Newspaper and magazine groups predict 2010 recovery

Almost 60 per cent of UK publishing businesses think their fortunes will improve next year, according to an industry-wide survey.

InPublishing magazine commissioned Wessenden Marketing to ask 187 newspapers and magazines about the current state of publishing and what the future has in store.

It found that 57 per cent of publishers thought the economic conditions in the industry would begin to improve in 2010, albeit slowly.

Despite many reports of falling revenues, the study found that 79 per cent of companies remained profitable – which an average margin of 11 per cent.

Some 12 per cent of companies were breaking even and nine per cent were making a loss.

A third of the publishers surveyed predicted their profit margin would rise next year, with 42 per cent expecting it to hold steady.

Most of the companies that responded to the poll ranked cutting overheads and renegotiating supplier contracts as a better solution than cutting staff.

Three quarters of publishers said they had no plans to cut headcount any more – with 20 per cent saying they were read to grow staff numbers.

“The recession is forcing most companies to take a hard look at the way they do things,” the InPublishing report concluded.

“The repeated hope running through the survey is that recession will force weaker competition out of a market which is simply over-supplied in terms of the number of magazines, newspapers and websites available to both readers and advertisers.”

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