Electric Word, the specialist information publisher, announced today interim results for the six months ended 31 May 2013.
Julian Turner, Chief Executive of Electric Word, commented:
The most important achievements in this period have been the growth in a new core of subscribers to the digital school support service, increasing the number of schools conferences again after reductions in 2011 and 2012, building and launching new high-value subscription services in SportBusiness following the successful growth of TV Sports Markets, continued growth in iGaming and the strengthening of the Group management team.
The fundraising in September 2012 has enabled the Group to focus on growing the long-term value of its businesses. Those funds are being invested through the course of 2013 with benefits expected to show in the second half of the year and into 2014.
The redevelopment of the Education business has continued. The biggest investment has been in building the sales and marketing resource needed to migrate legacy print subscription customers to the new Optimus digital service and start growing the value of those subscriptions. New teacher training products have been developed and launched through the course of the year which will form a valuable portfolio and, in 2014, the basis of a new subscription service. We have also invested in re-growing the Optimus events team to add new events and increase the sales and marketing effort for events in the new academic year. These investments have reduced profits in the Education business in the first half but it is notable that revenue in the first half is higher than in the second half of 2012 and growth prospects for the sector are encouraging in the light of the reduced capacity of Local Authorities to support school improvement and the managers responsible for delivering it.
Investment in the Health division has been focused on medical education and the development of e-learning materials for students, specialist trainees and qualified doctors. This is one of a number of areas that have been identified for the development of digital products to complement the existing portfolio of books and journals. In future the division will focus on supporting medical students and specialist trainees and serving the professional development needs of medical educators and particular communities of practice such as speech and language therapists.
The Sport & Gaming business has made good progress in both its underlying profitability (allowing for timing differences) and in enhancing its portfolio of digital subscriptions products. Our TV Sports Markets deals analysis service has enjoyed a particularly strong year. The iGaming Affiliate events continue to grow, although a significant element of revenues will now be seen in the second half of the year with a major event moving from May to June.
The foundations that have been laid in the first half put the Group in a good position to grow in the second half of the year and into 2014.
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