Emap stands by online ventures

Emap has defended its plans to ramp up online investment despite concern over the move among City analysts.

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.

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