Haymarket delivers solid growth in operating profit

Press release: Haymarket, the international media group, has filed annual accounts showing a 26 per cent rise in operating profits to £4.3m.

The rise in operating profits is due to the company’s expansion in the US and growth in the UK with Haymarket’s business titles and motoring division. Haymarket’s brands include Campaign, What Car?, PistonHeads, PRWeek, Autocar, ENDS and MIMS.

Net debt dropped by more than 80% to £17.3m, following the sale of Teddington Studios, and has dropped further since the year-end, after the sale of the Haymarket’s motor-racing brands in October 2016. Turnover has climbed 1.2% to £186.5m in the year to June 2016.

Lord Heseltine, Chairman of Haymarket, said: “These are encouraging figures, particularly given the continued structural changes across the media industry.

“The completion of our property divestment programme during the year has enabled us to focus on the development of our consumer media and business information brands.”

Kevin Costello, Chief Executive, said Haymarket’s strategy of “fewer, bigger, smarter bets”, first launched in 2012, was paying off.

Just under half (48%) of revenues came from the group’s core divisions – marketing communications, medical and motoring – and “the three Ms” are set to pass 50% in the current financial year to June 2017.

Costello added that the Group’s revenues were well balanced as it has reduced dependence on print and expanded internationally.

Around two-thirds of the business was focused on print and around two-thirds of revenues came from the UK in 2012. Last year, almost half of revenues came from outside the UK, with the US generating almost one third of sales. Print fell to 43% of revenues while digital rose to 35% and FACE (Festivals, Awards, Conferences, Exhibitions) represented 20%. In this financial year, Haymarket has said that digital should overtake print as the single, largest source of revenue.

Costello said the “single, biggest growth driver” for Haymarket has been content solutions – using the strength of editorial titles to create content for brands.

He singled out What Car?’s launch of New Car Buyer Marketplace, which connects readers looking to buy a car with a local dealer, and the purchase of World Architecture News and World Interior News.

Haymarket’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased to £13.3m. Group pre-tax profit was £1.7m on a statutory basis.