Haymarket sounds caution on trading conditions

Privately-owned magazine group Haymarket has revealed flat sales for 2007 despite buying new titles and warned of tough times to come.

The company, which has more than 100 titles worldwide, also announced two new acquisitions – Boston-based Compliance Week and Windpower Monthly, a subscription-only wind energy title.

Turnover at the international company that also hosts live events, exhibitions and websites was up 1 percent to £247 million in the 12 months to December 31 and pre-tax profit increased by 5 percent to a record £32 million.

The company’s statement said: ‘There is no alternative but a note of caution as we look at the current year and 2009. Trading conditions are tightening in many fields. Serious increase in costs and reduced consumer demand urge caution.”

However, the company said it was caught in a double bind because the seismic shifts in publishing away from print to online meant it was forced to expand.

‘Caution is difficult to reconcile with the challenges presented by the structural changes through which the media industry is passing. Traditional markets are shifting online and survival for many requires agility to offer new technology opportunities as the old ones decline.”

Compliance Week goes to 25,000 US subscribers and covers financial, legal, risk, audit, and compliance executives at public companies.

Windpower Monthly has a circulation of 5,000 and takes articles from writers in nearly 20 countries.

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