Haymarket returns to double-figure profit as digital and non-UK revenues grow

Pre-tax profits at specialist publisher Haymarket Group have doubled year-on-year, with the business said to be in “sound financial shape”.

The company has reported profit before tax of £15.2m for the year to 30 June 2019, returning to pre-2018 levels when numbers fell sharply. It reported pre-tax profit of £8m in 2018 and £15.9m in 2017.

Turnover for the group, whose brands include What Car?, Autocar, and the B2B media titles Campaign and PR Week, fell by about £2m on last year to £161.6m, according to full-year accounts filed with Companies House.

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Print now makes up £43.1m or just over a quarter (26.7 per cent) of total revenues for Haymarket, down from 31.4 per cent last year.

Digital has grown from 44.2 per cent to 48 per cent of total revenues at £77.6m, while live events are now worth £36.2m, or more than a fifth (22.4 per cent) of revenues.

Earnings (EBITDAE) more than doubled on last year, rising from £3.5m to £8.6m, which the company said reflected a “significant level of technology investment”.

Haymarket chief executive Kevin Costello said: “These results show a business in sound financial shape.

“In a year of economic and political uncertainty, with the media industry in the middle of transformation, we are fulfilling our strategic goal of building a balanced portfolio of diversified revenues across our core markets: business media, content solutions and automotive technology.

“Over 70 per cent of our revenues now come from digital, data and live activity and for the first time, more than half of our revenues are generated from outside the UK.”

The company said it will “build out new opportunities in our UK business portfolio, whilst continuing to accelerate the digital and ecommerce opportunities of our powerful UK automotive brands”.

It added that it is continuing to expand in the US, which now accounts for more than 40 per cent of the group’s total revenues (up from a third in 2018), with particular growth in the medical sector.

Costello said Haymarket has gone from having more than £150m in debt ten years ago to being debt-free with cash on the balance sheet.

“This means we have the resources to grow organically and through acquisitions,” he said.

Staff numbers fell by 45 in 2019, with staff costs falling by about £5,000 year-on-year.

Companies House figures have also been published for Haymarket Media Group Ltd, which is a subsidiary of Haymarket Group.

The subsidiary went from a loss before tax of £2.3m in 2018 to a pre-tax profit of £8.1m. Revenues were down by £11.7m from £85.5m to £73.8m while EBITDAE grew from £0.2m to £1.2m.

View the Haymarket Group accounts in full here.

The Haymarket Media Group accounts are also available here.

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