The publishing group behind the ubiquitous Haynes car manual has given a confident forecast about the print market even as revenues fall and fast-growing digital fails to offset that decline.
“A manual is still incredibly useful if you’re working outside and the weather is inclement or if you drop a spanner on it,” said its chairman J Haynes, the son of founder John Haynes. “Digital with a video can complement the manual – I don’t think that it’s a replacement.”
Haynes Publishing saw annual pre-tax profits fall to £3.6m against £4.7m a year earlier, with turnover down 7 per cent to £27.6m.
The Somerset-based company’s chief executive, Eric Oakley, is having to slash costs and will close its book distribution network. However, he was upbeat that it should soon boost profits, with the online service Haynes Pro performing well, and the first signs of growth for six years in America. Digital revenues have risen 81 per cent in America and 115 per cent in Britain.
Mr Haynes said the company’s fortunes tended to the lag the car market by about two years.