One-off costs push Centaur half-year figures £5m into the red

B2B publisher Centaur Media has reported a £5m pre-tax loss despite revenue increasing by 14 per cent to £30.4m in the six months to 31 December.

Figures released today show digital now accounts for 39 per cent of total revenue (up 7 per cent year on year) while print revenue fell from 45 per cent of the total in the last six months of 2011 to 31 per cent.

In July 2012 the company acquired digital marketing company Econsultancy for £12m, and today said it had contributed £4.2m of revenue since its acquisition.

While reported revenue was up 14 per cent, adjusted revenue (which accounts for the impact of acquisitions and discontinued activities) was 3 per cent year on year.

Reported digital revenues were up 37 per cent, with reported events revenues up 50 per cent and print revenues down 19 per cent. On an adjusted basis, digital, events and print revenues were up 1 per cent, up 12 per cent, and down 14 per cent respectively.

The reported loss before taxation of £5m is after charging exceptional costs of £4.6m (relating to restructuring costs of £1.2m, acquisition related costs of £0.7m, earn out charges of £1.5m, vacant property charges of £0.6m and a £0.6m charge for unwinding the discount on the Econsultancy earn out).

On an adjusted basis profit before taxation of £0.7m compares to a £0.1m loss reported in the same period last year. The group reported net debt at 31 December of £24.5m.

The business publishing division – which includes Marketing Week, Creative Review, The Lawyer, Money Marketing and The Engineer – saw revenue fall 15 per cent to £14.2m.

Centaur said the decline was down to weaker print revenues across the legal and marketing titles - in particular across Marketing Week, Money Marketing and Fund Strategy-  and the closure of the print edition of The Engineer in July 2012.

Centaur CEO Geoff Wilmot commented: "We have delivered an encouraging set of results in what remain challenging market conditions, with both our recent acquisitions and the underlying business contributing to earnings growth.

"The business is now repositioned and restructured. We are maintaining momentum in improving the quality of our portfolio and remain focused on increasing margins. We have an exciting pipeline of new product development initiatives across each of our three operating divisions, which positions us well for further growth in the medium term.

"The second half of our financial year continues to account for the large majority of our earnings. Although we remain dependent on underlying revenues returning to growth in the second half, we anticipate trading will be in line with our expectations for the current financial year."

 

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