Centaur Media’s financial magazines – once lauded by the firm’s bosses and lavished upon by IFAs – have fallen on hard times with a 15% fall in revenues, forcing the publisher to report “flat” group revenues in Q1.
Overall, the company, which also owns Marketing Week and Econsultancy, revealed group revenue at £24.4m for the first four months of the year. The financial portfolio, which includes the likes of Money Marketing, was down 15% at £4.6m compared to the same period the previous year.
Marketing revenue, however, grew by 4% to £7.1m year-on-year, while paid content revenue was up by 37% to £1.6m and Econsultancy contract values increased by over a third (37%).
In September 2013 the firm was forced to write off £39.2m from its marketing and financial publishing divisions, despite its interim boss claiming that the group was “growing well”.
Andria Vidler, who became chief executive last year, said: “Although we are going through a period of rapid change, our audiences remain at the heart of our business. We are passionate about delivering excellent content to enable them to become better at what they do.
“We know that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and by bringing together our range of complementary products under market portfolio management, we can deliver the clearest insight, a better audience experience and robust operational efficiency.
“As the pace of growth in our core digital, paid-for content revenues continues to accelerate, we have identified a number of opportunities to use the technical functionality that underpins these revenues more widely across the Group.
Centaur has also announced it is to hive off another division, Perfect Information for £26m to Mergermarket, explaining that the single format title no longer fitted the company’s market.
Meanwhile, it has also conditionally agreed to settle the earn-out entitled of the former shareholders of Econsultancy for £12.5m in cash. The deal had originally been valued at up to £50m.
In May 2012 Centaur revealed that the overseas operations of Econsultancy had “incurred losses” as a result of deferral of corporate training contracts into the following financial year. This, along with disastrous sales figures for the group, ultimately triggered the exit of chief executive Geoff Wilmot and managing director of business publishing Tim Potter.
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