Record results for City publisher

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The Independent Online
Euromoney, the acquisitive magazine publisher and conference organiser, yesterday unveiled record profits and dividends, reversing a patchy period dominated by cost-cutting and management changes.

Pre-tax profits climbed to pounds 25.5m in the year to September, compared with pounds 18.2m last time, while the dividend was set at 46p, up from 43.5p.

The record results, which were ahead of expectations, sent the shares higher to 1355p, from 1337.5p.

After a share buy-back last year, and pounds 5.6m spent on acquisitions, Euromoney had cash on hand of pounds 27.4m, and said it would continue to look for likely buying opportunities. In the past, targets have included companies in France and the US.

Euromoney, one of the most successful specialist magazine publishers, is controlled by the Rothermere family, which owns the Daily Mail and General Trust. It has built up a stable of magazines and conferences titles, usually by offering owners "earn-outs" that keep key managers in place for several years after the acquisition.

But the company ran into trouble when some senior management began to leave once most of their earned profits had been made. At the same time, the fast pace of acquisition led to what once analyst yesterday called "indigestion".

Cost-cutting, particularly of office overheads, has led to a marked improvement in overall margins, with several analysts upgrading their next-year forecasts. "They have certainly managed to cut costs beyond what we had been anticipating," one analyst said.

The company has also benefited from strong growth in advertising, and a buoyant market for corporate conferences and training.

The flagship Euromoney magazine has ridden the wave of strong stock and bond markets, and continued to perform strongly, the company said.

Of the cash on hand, Euromoney has set aside pounds 4m to fulfil existing earn- out arrangements, with the remainder available to fund further expansion.