Tough trading for B2B health titles

CMP Medica – home of B2B health titles including Pulse and The Practitioner – this week reported a ‘disappointing performance’in 2007.

In a trading update two weeks before the end of the United Business Media financial year, the company said CMP Medica has continued to see a fall in like-for-like revenues and profits, due in part to a decline in pharmaceutical advertising.

In its latest half-year results to end of September 2007, Emap, home to Health Service Journal, predicted good future prospects for its B2B portfolio, but in its events and information services rather than in magazines, which it forecast had ‘reasonable’prospects.

B2B magazines revenue was down two per cent in total and four per cent on an underlying basis, due to general weakness in on-page display advertising across the portfolio, the company said in a statement.

Although it did not specify HSJ, an Emap source told Press Gazette that display ad revenue had ‘fallen through the floor’in the past few years.

Haymarket’s latest financial results for 2006 stated that recruitment revenues were ‘holding up well across the board in both print and online despite some difficulties in the public sector recruitment markets”.

As these trends have emerged in the medical market, companies have had to diversify and find new revenue streams.

Haymarket’s GP has extended its focus beyond GPs and tried different platforms such as webcasts and a soon-to-be launched digital magazine. A new title Oncology has also launched this month.

Elsevier Healthcare also launched doctorportal.co.uk in October this year in a bid to diversify and move on to different platforms.

An industry source told Press Gazette that it was only a matter of time before one of the three titles in the sector – GP, Pulse or Doctor – folded.

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