Emap has defended its plans to ramp up online investment despite
concern over the move among City analysts.
The company will spend pounds 30 million transforming Emap Digital into
a global enterprise covering an increasing number of online initiatives.
The unit will report its results separately, although Emap stressed that
it would not be spun off.
Concern in the City over the amount Emap intends to invest, combined
with the disappointing performance of a recent US acquisition, wiped 6
per cent off the company's shares last week.
But Roger Green, the managing director of Emap Online - a key part of
Emap Digital - said: 'The investment in online is good news and I am
sure in the long term shareholders will agree.'
Emap has more than 90 websites generating revenues of around pounds 10
In common with other publishers, it has set out to turn its existing
magazine brands into multimedia ventures (Campaign Media Business, 27
September). IPC has taken a similar route with the launch of IPC
'It's not unusual for a media concern to say it's taking online more
seriously,' Green admitted. 'But Emap has more going on in this area
than other companies that pontificate about it.'
He said FHM was the country's most popular magazine website 'by a mile'
and promised business-to-business sites in sectors varying from
construction to nursing.
'Analysts are trying to grapple with this new world along with everyone
else,' he added. 'It's difficult to say where we will be in two or three
years' time. But Emap has an advantage in that it has a history of
The company's shares fell as an apparently positive trading update
failed to impress analysts. The slump was partly blamed on Emap's
admission that Petersen, the US magazine group it acquired last year,
had shown disappointing first-half growth.