Economist Group posts profits of £56m, but warns of tough year

LONDON - The Economist Group, publisher of the Economist, has posted pre-tax profits of £56m, after benefiting from a cost-cutting programme. However, the group warned of a challenging year ahead.

Economist Group: warns of challenging year
Economist Group: warns of challenging year

Pre-tax profits were up year on year from £47m to £56m, while revenue rose from £266m to £313m, in the year ending March 31, 2009.

In its annual report, the group warned that it expected lower advertising and sponsorship revenues in the year ahead.

The company has restructured its cost base to offset the tough economic climate, reducing its headcount by about 130, leaving it with just over 1,000 employees.

Revenues across the UK grew from £53.7m to £57.2m in the period, while operating profits nudged up from £13.6m to 14.9m.

Print advertising in the UK fell 3% year on year, while advertising revenue at Economist.com grew by 22%.

Turnover across the group's largest market, North America, jumped from £112.5m to £140.1m over the period.

Chris Stibbs, finance director of The Economist Group, said: "We're pleased to report another strong performance that demonstrates the quality and relevance of our brands all around the world."

Earlier this month, the group closed its CFO magazine business in Europe, with the potential loss of 13 jobs.

The closure of the title followed the axing of CFO Asia and CFO China in February