Haymarket increases operating profit

Laura Rutkowski

Haymarket Media Group has filed annual accounts showing a substantial increase in operating profit to £16.0m (2016: £4.3m), boosted by the divestment of non-core motorsport and agricultural brands.

Net debt has been reduced to £1.0m (2016: £17.3m) in the 12 months to 30 June.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and exceptionals stood at £2.6m (2016: £13.7m). This reflects an increased level of investment in the company’s technology infrastructure – specifically in the development of an ecommerce platform in the company’s Automotive division.

It also reflects a period of uncertainty in 2016 ahead of the outcomes of both the EU referendum and the US presidential election, which impacted on underlying trading performance in some sectors.

Haymarket operates in a number of international territories, including the UK, US, Asia, India and Germany, focusing on core content sectors across b2b and consumer markets, reaching highly affluent and highly engaged audiences. Motoring, Marketing Communications and Medical are among its principal market sectors.

Kevin Costello, CEO of Haymarket Media Group, said: “Our mission is to be the best specialist media company in our chosen markets, while ensuring we are transitioning the business for long-term sustainable growth. This set of results underlines real momentum in deploying our strategy –creating a balanced portfolio of diversified revenues in our chosen markets.

“Print remains an important platform for our loyal specialist audiences, but it is pleasing to note that almost two-thirds of total revenues now come from digital, data and live activity. Our content and technology-led approach means we are investing in innovative new revenue opportunities around paid content and events, as well as new ecommerce platforms – particularly in our Automotive division,” he continued.

In March 2017, Haymarket announced a major £50m investment in developing the digital and ecommerce potential of its Automotive brands, including What Car?, Autocar and PistonHeads, in a UK retail marketplace worth £85bn.

The leadership team has also focused on deleveraging the company’s balance sheet significantly – as a result of proceeds and profits from brand divestment – delivering a healthy net debt of £1m in the period.

Lord Heseltine, Chairman of Haymarket, commented: “Haymarket is a company with 60 years’ heritage. It is rightly renowned internationally for its powerful brands, serving vibrant market sectors containing millions of high value consumers and business professionals. These results reflect a strategy that positions us well for the future – investing in technology to build diversified revenue streams around a raft of new opportunities.”

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