Advertising decline hits United Business Media

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The Independent Online

United Business Media warned yesterday that plunging advertising volumes at its CMP technology publishing business in the US will cut 2001 earnings.

The group, which sold three ITV franchises and Express Newspapers last year, abruptly reversed last month's guidance to the market that softness in the advertising market was abating.

In yesterday's trading statement, issued only a week before the end of the company's half- year financial period, United said: "Conditions in the hi-tech advertising segment of the professional media activities remain very challenging. The results for this division are likely to be below our previous expectation for the year and around the bottom end of market forecasts."

CMP accounted for two-thirds of the group's operating profits of £189m in 2000. Its main titles, including Information Week and Networking Computing, are largely free- distribution publications, so they rely heavily on advertising.

United stock fell nearly 7 per cent in early trading, but recovered to close down 3.31 per cent at 614p.

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