Centaur reduces Econsultancy earn out by £1m as company reports 10% revenue increase
Publishing and events firm Centaur has reduced the earn out it will pay following its Econsultancy acquisition last year by £1m as a result of losses incurred by its overseas operation and has also announced a 10 per cent growth in revenue and a pre-tax profit increase of 8 per cent.
Reporting its year-end trading, the company, which has moved to refocus on marketing, professional, financial and consumer publications and events, revealed that its underlying revenue was expected to be 3 per cent down on the previous year, but that it had also reduced its net debt to £19.5m.
Focusing on the acquisition of marketing information title Econsultancy, which was agreed for an initial £12m sum last year, with The Guardian claiming that it could cost as much as £50m, claimed that subscriptions were ‘growing strongly’, especially within its UK business, but that it had been forced to act to address loses incurred by the overseas operation. As a result, the earn-out figure agreed for 31 December has been reduced from £4m to £3m, the company has revealed.
Elsewhere, the group reported that digital and events revenue now accounted for over a two thirds of the business, at 34 per cent and 36 per cent respectively, with both revenue types growing by over a quarter (25 per cent) in comparison with last year’s figures. The group’s paid content also accounted for over a quarter of group revenue (28 per cent), a growth of 4 per cent on last year.
Mark Kerswell, interim chief executive, said that the company was "pleased to be able to report good growth in profitability and strong progress in developing attractive revenue streams in digital, paid for content and events.
"With renewed vigour and enthusiasm across the Group, improved stability, a sharper focus on our markets and customers and an encouraging pipeline of new digital platforms and event launches, we are increasingly confident that the outlook for 2014 is positive."
The search for a new chief executive since the announcement of Geoff Wilmot’s resignation in May is also ongoing.