Emap posts 16 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £175m

Emap, buoyed by a growth in its consumer magazine and TV advertising revenues, announced full-year results that showed an increase in both turnover and profits.

Discounting the impact of the sale of its US operations, which led to an overall decline in turnover of 6 per cent, Emap posted a climb in pre-tax profits of 16 per cent to £175 million. Turnover, excluding the US sale, was up 3 per cent to £967 million for the year to the end of March.

A 56 per cent boost in sales for Heat magazine and the international growth of FHM across 17 markets also contributed to the group profits.

Emap Consumer Media, which publishes Emap's key consumer magazine titles, increased its operating profit by 13 per cent to £51 million as circulation rose by 8 per cent and ad revenues by 5 per cent.

Emap also posted increased turnover and profits for Emap Performance, its UK music division. Turnover rose 12 per cent to £155 million and operating profit 10 per cent to £37 million. However, despite an increase in TV revenues, on the back of the launch of new channels, radio revenues were down 1 per cent against an overall radio market that showed growth of 3 per cent. Emap blamed this on its heavy reliance on national advertisers.

The media company's French magazine operations and its UK business-to-business arm performed less well. Its business display advertising declined by 4 per cent.

Emap has committed £23 million over the next year for new-product development, including £10 million earmarked for launch activity. It said it had the "commitment, management depth and funding power" ahead of the consolidation of the UK radio industry.

Tom Maloney, Emap's chief executive, said: "Emap has proved its growth potential through a combination of solid organic growth, the launch of successful new products such as Closer, and bolt-on acquisitions, with the Excelsior acquisition in France moving us up to number two in the market. While media markets in general remain volatile, we are confident of making solid progress in the coming year."