Revenue and profit up at UBM

Revenue at business publisher UBM was up 11.1 per cent to £237.7 in the three months to 31 March, according to an interim management statement released this morning.

Adjusted operating was up 25.8 per cent to £56.1m year on year, as UBM’s online revenue exceeded print revenue for a full reporting period for the first time.

Chief executive David Levin said: ‘Overall we are on track for the full year. Based on trading conditions so far, we now expect that underlying growth for events will be in the range of 10 per cent – 12 per cent, but this will offset slower growth in PR volumes and advertising activity, particularly in print magazines.

‘We now expect growth in both PR Newswire and Marketing Services to come in at the lower end of our guidance ranges.

‘Although conditions in a number of our markets remain challenging, and year-on-year comparisons will get tougher as the year progresses, the business is performing well, and we maintain our consolidated guidance for 2012.”

Combined online and print revenues at its publishing divisions fell 18 per cent to £41.5m.

Print revenues were down by 37.5 per cent to £19.6m year on year in the first quarter, which was described as a ‘somewhat faster decline than anticipated”, but online revenues were up 11.2 per cent to £21.9m

The company the fall in print revenue was largely down to the sell-off of UBM’s UK agriculture and medical general practitioner portfolios including Farmers Guardian, and the merger of UBM’s Belgian medical print activities into a joint venture.

The company added: ‘We now project full year growth for Marketing Services – Online and Print will be towards the low end of our guidance of 2 per cent – 4 per cent; we anticipate that print advertising revenue will likely continue to decline although online growth will improve later in the year; full year margin guidance remains unchanged.

UBM’s consolidated net debt stood at £502m as at 31 March.

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