RBI 'prospects of the business are improving'

After an 18-month drive to offload a number of its B2B titles and the recession-driven collapse of advertising markets, the prospects for Reed Business information are on the up, its parent company Reed Elsevier said this morning.

Reed said good growth income from data services and advertising and further restructuring of the business were contributing to its improvement – however, it did not release any financial details for RBI.

Publishing an interim management statement, Reed Elsevier said the overall trend for its business – which is dominated by exhibitions, professional journals and information – would result in a modest reduction year on year in adjusted operating margin.

Any sustained recovery is expected to be gradual and remained dependent on economic conditions, Reed said.

Reed revealed in February that profits at RBI, which includes UK magazine brands such as Farmers Weekly, New Scientist and Flight International, slumped by more than a third last year to £89m.

The parent company has steadily been disposing of RBI titles across the globe – mainly in the US – following the appointment of Erik Engstrom as chief executive last year.

In June, RBI placed 12 jobs at risk with plans to drop the weekly print edition of Personnel Today and take the title online only.

In January, RBI sold its UK Cosmetics News Weekly title to rival Communications International Group for an undisclosed sum.

These moves followed changes last year at RBI UK.

In July, it sold its travel portfolio – including Travel Weekly magazine – to the entrepreneur behind Holiday Autos, Clive Jacobs. And in November it closed the 130 year-old weekly magazine for the UK construction industry, Contract Journal.

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