Turnover up at UBM but print revenues 'remain weak'

Revenue at business publisher UBM Media is up 9 per cent to £474m and operating profit has risen 8.4 per cent to £72.6m – but revenue from its print business “remain weak”.

The company said that print revenue saw a decline of 13.6 per cent.

UBM, which publishes Farmers Guardian and Property Week, has offloaded 10 of its print titles this year. In March it sold licensed trade title, including The Publican, to rival William Reed in a deal worth around £1.65m, and offloaded its French medical newspaper business for £8.8m.

In June it has sold its entertainment and technology portfolio to independent publisher Intent Media for £2.4m.

Following the release of its interim results for the half year ended 30 June 2011, chief executive David Levin said: “We have had a good first half with the business trading in line with our guidance. We’re pleased with the 6.4 per cent underlying revenue growth, and particularly the 16 per cent headline growth in Emerging Markets where we now generate almost 20 per cent of our total operating profit.

‘These positive revenue trends have driven healthy 10.5 per cent growth in adjusted operating profit, an increase in our group margin to 19.4 per cent and were accompanied by strong cash generation. We continue to build our platform for profitable growth, developing market-leading products for attractive business communities in growth markets.”

He added: ‘Overall our outlook for the full year has improved modestly since we now expect our events business to out perform the guidance we gave in March.”

In its results UBM said that “the significance of print within the overall UBM business revenue mix continues to diminish” and now accounts for only 12.6 per cent of total revenue, and 3.4 per cent of total adjusted operating profit.

Meanwhile, the company has also announced the acquisition of Ecobuild, the world’s largest trade show for the sustainable construction market, in a deal valued at up to £51m.

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