Centaur Media PLC – half year trading update

Centaur Media plccentaur, the business information, events and marketing services group, has issued a trading update for the six months to 31 December 2012.

The Group expects to report results in line with the Board’s expectations, with reported revenues 14% ahead of the same period last year and EBITDA margins increased to 10% from 6%. Underlying revenues across the Group as a whole declined by 3%.

The Group has continued to maintain good momentum in improving its revenue mix. Digital and events revenues now account for 39% and 28% respectively of total Group revenues, up from 32% and 22% in the same period last year. Over the same period, the share of total Group revenues generated in print format has reduced, as expected, to 31% from 45%.

The improving mix of revenues in favour of events and paid-for content has also increased levels of visibility into the second half of the financial year.  Deferred revenues at 31 December 2012 were approximately £15m, 30% ahead of the same period last year.

Growth in underlying revenues across the Business Information and Exhibitions divisions has been offset by weaker revenues across the Business Publishing financial and marketing communities. Reported revenues across the Business Information division are substantially up, reflecting the impact of recent acquisitions, despite the deferral of some corporate training engagements into H2.

Net debt at 31 December 2012 was £24.5m, representing leverage of approximately two times. The Group’s earnings and cash flows continue to be weighted towards the second half of the financial year and leverage is expected to fall rapidly in the next six months.

As anticipated, the Group will report exceptional costs for the first six months of the year related to reorganisation costs, IFRS3 earn-out charges and acquisitions.

Geoff Wilmot, Chief Executive, said:

“We have maintained momentum in improving the quality of our portfolio of activities as we continue to grow revenues from digital and events. We continue to focus on increasing margins and we have a strong pipeline of new product development initiatives which positions us well to deliver further growth in the medium term.

“We anticipate trading to be in line with our expectations for the current financial year, although the second half of our financial year continues to account for the large majority of our earnings.”

The Group expects to release its half yearly earnings report on 20 February 2013.

UK, London

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