Revenue at B2B publisher Centaur up 14 per cent

B2B publisher Centaur saw its revenue jump 14 per cent to £68.3m in the financial year to June 2011, the company announced today.

Pre-tax profit was up 63 per cent to £6.5m with a proposed full-year dividend up 18 per cent to 2p per share.

It is the first set of figures released by the company since it announced a wide-ranging restructure in June that saw it scrap the print editions of Design Week and New Media Age and sell off part of its portfolio, including The Recruiter and The Logistics Manager.

The company also restructured its business titles – including merging its legal and financial publishing businesses – and its senior management team.

Today's statement revealed the company, publisher of The Lawyer and Money Marketing, spent £2.5m on redundancy costs as part of the restructuring, which saw headcount drop by 10 per cent, but expects to save more than £1.5m a year as a result of the move.

The company reported a loss before tax of £30.3m. Centaur said the restructuring programme had 'significantly impacted'the results as the figures included a non-cash impairment charge of £32.2m and redundancy costs.

In a statement Centaur said: 'The restructuring initiatives, while having a material impact on the reported statutory results, do not impact the underlying trading performance of the group."

Employment costs (excluding the impact of redundancy costs) were £28.3m, an increase of 3.3 per cent on the previous year, while average headcount for the year was 622, down from 628 in the previous year.

Digital revenues now account for 26 per cent of total turnover and digital advertising revenue was up 19 per cent.

Its business publishing websites posted a 28 per cent increase in revenue while the print publications were up 19 per cent.

Total business publishing revenue grew 18 per cent from £39.7m to £46.8m, which included a 24 per cent increase in recruitment advertising across 'all the major recruitment brands, principally marketing and legal".

Centaur chief executive Geoff Wilmot commented: 'This is an encouraging set of results with adjusted profits, earnings and cash generation all significantly improved.

'The 18 per cent increase in the dividend is both a recognition of these results and a signal of our confidence that we now have in place a stronger platform for growth.

'We have restructured our business into three distinct operating units: business publishing, business information and exhibitions.

'We have made a number of senior management appointments. We have made small, but important bolt-on acquisitions as well as disposals, as we optimise our portfolio.

'Centaur has acquired momentum and is well placed as a preferred provider of business information and services to our professional and commercial markets of choice."

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