Stylist Group posts full-year loss on back of ShortList print closure

Chief executive Ella Dolphin stressed results for year to 31 March 2019 are not indicative of current performance of business.

The Stylist Group: rebranded from Shortlist Media after closure of men's title
The Stylist Group: rebranded from Shortlist Media after closure of men's title

The Stylist Group made a pre-tax loss of £8.8m in the year ended 31 March 2019, reflecting the closure of ShortList print magazine in November 2018.

The company, which rebranded from Shortlist Media to The Stylist Group in January 2019 after it closed its flagship men's title, reported a 17.8% dip in turnover to £18.8m during a "significant year of transformation".

ShortList, which was launched in 2007, continues to operate online with a focus on product recommendations. The Stylist Group's primary focus is now to grow the print magazine of Stylist, which launched in 2009 and has a print circulation of 404,000.

All one-off "transformation" costs related to ShortList's print closure, including redundancy costs, were reflected in the results, the company said.

The annual results also show that total staff numbers fell from 193 in 2018 to 159 in 2019, with the biggest cuts seen among editorial staff, where headcount was reduced from 75 to 52.

Chief executive Ella Dolphin told Campaign that the business had since been "transformed" following a "radical restructure" and stressed that the results reflected a period before that was complete – and were not indicative of its current performance.

She said: "Since the transformation into The Stylist Group last year, audience continues to increase across all platforms, our events programme has dramatically expanded with the creation of Stylist Live Luxe and the inaugural Remarkable Women Awards.

"2019 also saw the successful launch of fitness brand Stylist Strong and investment into developing the Stylist brand and business opportunities will continue over the next two years."

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