Business publisher Emap has revealed half year operating profit down 4 per cent year on year to £52.1m on revenue also down 4 per cent to £135.5m.
The figure, for the six months to the end of June, represents one of the highest operating profit margins of any UK media company – at around 38 per cent.
Emap Inform – the section of the business which runs magazine brands such as Broadcast, Nursing Times, Retail Week and Construction News – reported taking a hit from Government plans to curb spending. Emap also publishes Local Government Chronicle and Health Service Journal.
Emap said: ‘The public sector magazine titles were adversely impacted by the uncertainty and apprehension surrounding government dependent activities which particularly affected health service and local government recruitment advertising volumes, which were sharply down on the prior year.”
But it reported that it experienced a private sector recovery starting in late 2009 and continuing this year, with ‘revenue levels higher than those seen in the second half of 2009″.
Emap reported it has cut costs at Emap Inform by 13 per cent year on year.
The B2B publishing business of Emap was bought by Guardian Media Group and private Equity firm Apax in a £1bn deal at the end of 2007.
Since then there have been widespread editorial redundancies, mergers of editorial teams and other production changes – including making all the magazines the same A4 format – to cut costs.
Public sector revenues at Emap Networks – which produces 260 conferences a year – were said to be down 34 per cent year on year, caused by lower numbers of delegates to conferences and less sponsorship
On the outlook for the future Emap said: ‘We expect further deterioration in the public sector which impacts our recruitment, display and delegate revenue.
‘However, elsewhere there are encouraging signs, particularly around our other data businesses and the Retail sector.”