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Exhibition events help boost profits at Grocer publisher William Reed

Profits nearly doubled at the The Grocer publisher William Reed last year, which it put down to the “positive impact” of its exhibition events.

The B2B publisher, which covers the hospitality, food and drink and pharmaceutical industries, reported revenues of £54.45m for the year ended 31 March, up 12.5 per cent on the year before.

Its pre-tax profit was £7.75m for the year, up 86 per cent from £4.17m the year before.

William Reed runs a number of exhibition events, including the the Food and Drink Expo and the Farm Shop and Deli Show.

The company reported earnings (EBITDA) of £9.9m for 2018, up from from £6.2m the previous year.

In its accounts, filed with Companies House this week, William Reed said growth in “face-to-face revenues” from sales and sponsorship for events and exhibitions was offset by “modest decline in magazine revenues”.

Almost half of William Reed’s turnover (£25.5m) came from events, awards, conferences and exhibitions ,while combined digital and print revenues from its titles stood at £24.1m.

The remainder was from trading market analysis and research, known as “insight”, which brought in £4.5m, and licensing.

The directors’ report said the company has a “clear commitment” to invest in digital, insight, events, conferences, awards and exhibitions revenues in order “to manage the transition away from magazine revenue”.

William Reed had £12.5m cash at bank and in hand.

The publisher paid a dividend of £358,000 during the financial year, working out at £0.62 per ordinary share, but directors did not recommend payment of a final dividend.

Its staff costs roses marginally from £19.6m in 2018 to £19.8m this year while the number of staff in editorial, production and sales fell by five.

The company paid £1.59m in tax on its profits for the year.

Read the full-year accounts.

Picture: The Grocer

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