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Centaur Media sells engineering titles to Mark Allen Group as profits climb

Centaur Media

B2B publisher Centaur Media has sold its engineering titles to the Mark Allen Group in a £2.5m deal, on the back of rising profits.

The sale will see The Engineer, Subcon and Advanced Manufacturing transfer to the Mark Allen Group, which already owns engineering B2Bs New Electronics and Eureka.

Centaur has sold a raft of titles over recent years, including Money Marketing, Employee Benefits and its home interest portfolio.

The publisher claimed that proceeds from the combined auctions of its engineering titles, financial services titles, HR publications and travel and meetings exhibitions will total £21.75m overall.

Its deal with the Mark Allen Group is set to complete on 31 May.

Centaur chief executive Andria Vidler said: “This is the fourth disposal following Centaur’s divestment review.

“Throughout the process we have been pleased with the interest our businesses have received, and we are delighted that our engineering portfolio is joining Mark Allen Group who recognise its value and are well positioned to take it forward.”

Mark Allen Group boss Ben Allen added that the acquisition was “part of our strategy to target well-established products in markets where we believe there are exciting growth opportunities”.

He said: “These assets will further strengthen our existing manufacturing and engineering publishing and event portfolio.”

Centaur Media revealed plans to “simplify” its business and sell off Money Marketing and The Lawyer titles late last year. The publisher said it is still in negotiations for the planned sale of The Lawyer.

Today’s sale announcement comes a week after the B2B group published its results for the year ending 31 December 2018. It reported group revenues of £70.5m for 2018, up from £64.7m the year before.

Centaur had an adjusted operating profit of £5.2m in 2018, up from £4.1m the year before, and an adjusted pre-tax profit of £5m in 2018, up from £3.7m.

Centaur Media chairman Neil Johnson revealed in a statement alongside the company’s accounts that he would step down at the end of June “to take up another role”, with board member Colin Jones set to take over.

Said Johnson: “I am pleased to have played a role during an important period in Centaur’s ongoing evolution and am confident that I am leaving Centaur with the right strategy in place to deliver value for shareholders.”

On the company itself, he said: “Centaur’s Board has long understood that the businesses within the company need greater scale and focus to succeed, which has informed the reshaping of the portfolio that has taken place over recent years. Last October, we began exploring the divestment of our professional services and financial services divisions.

“We continue to pursue other transactions and hope to be able to provide a further update shortly. This reshaping of the group will allow us to reduce our overheads and operate more efficiently. We strongly believe this is the right strategy – it will make Centaur more resilient and focused and gives us the opportunity to increase operating margins.”

Centaur boss Andria Vidler added: “The uncertainty about the impact of Brexit may make this a challenging year, but Centaur’s strategy to strengthen its non-advertising revenues has improved the company’s resilience.”

Picture: Centaur Media

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