Haymarket 50 Years: To you from us

Haymarket might have reached its 50th birthday but it is not a company much given to nostalgia or trumpet-blowing. We've never run a birthday supplement in Campaign before. In fact, every part of our business is focused on the future and the role we can play in it.

So this supplement marks a rather shocking change of pace, a chance to celebrate the creative values that matter to Haymarket and what makes us tick.

From the earliest days a presumption of quality has passed through the generations. If we do it, we want to do it well, whether it be the editorial quality, visual standards or production values of our own magazines or the range of services in exhibitions, events and directories that we offer.

We produce magazines for other companies to the standard of our own. We work all over the world and the same standards remain central. A quarter of our turnover comes from our overseas subsidiaries and a fifth of our profits. The web is contributing a higher share of the company's profits from sites we own or design and manage for others.

Change is all around but the central premise on which the company was founded 50 years ago hasn't changed at all: produce the highest quality; employ the most talented people.

Today there are nearly 2,500 of us directly employed all over the world and we've listed everyone by name on the inside back cover. But it was not always that way and perhaps a brief moment of nostalgia is permitted at this moment. In 1957, 50 years ago, there were just three of us. My then partner and former Oxford friend, the late Clive Labovitch, and our secretary. We lived in a permanent state of excitement and determination. Clive had recruited Lindsay Masters and Simon Tindall as salesmen. They were to become outstanding executives.

Looking back over the life of the company, they carried the business during my long absences in politics. More than anyone else, as chairman and managing director, they gave the company the look and feel upon which its reputation rests today. It took David Fraser, who joined us in 1968, to bring our accounting standards into the 20th century. They built an admired and innovative publishing business that helped to change the face of British publishing.

The company has been built on the talent of numerous people. I hope that they, and our clients, will realise the sense of gratitude and pride I feel as I look back on Haymarket's evolution, from the smallest beginnings to that of a large, small company and now to its present international status as a small, large company.

There is still a long journey ahead, but today our position in many markets and across multiple media platforms allows us to consider the next 50 years with genuine excitement.