Publishing and events company Ascential reports return to pre-tax profit in 2015 after flotation this year

 
William Turvill
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Cannes Lions festival owner Ascential has reported revenue growth of 6.1 per cent in 2015

Ascential, the Cannes Lions advertising festival owner that floated on the London Stock Exchange this year, returned to pre-tax profit in 2015.

The figures

Ascential reported revenue growth of 6.1 per cent to £319.1m. This growth was down from seven per cent in 2014.

Its pre-tax profit for 2015 was £8.4m, up from a loss of £5.4m the year before.

The company reported organic adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of £90.9m, up 14 per cent.

Read more: Ascential floats on the London market at 200p per share

Ascential said its margin had been expanded from 27.3 per cent in 2014 to 28.5 per cent.

The business-to-business publisher also reported operating profit growth of 43.4 per cent to £32.4m.

Why it’s interesting

The results are the first to be released since Ascential re-emerged as a public company.

Formerly known as Top Right Group and Emap, the company’s main shareholders are Guardian Media Group and Apax Partners.

The company has used the proceeds of its initial public offering (IPO), which raised net proceeds of £183m, to pay down debts, which totalled £383.7m at the end of 2015.

What Ascential said

Duncan Painter, chief executive:

2015 was another strong year for Ascential and we grew both revenues and profits driven by our focus on our top products, customer retention and growing customer volumes.

The new financial year has started well. Since the year end, Spring Fair, Bett UK and Pure Spring have taken place and performed in line with our expectations and preparations for Money20/20 Europe in April continue to progress well.

While still early in 2016, we are encouraged by the current level of forward bookings and are confident of another good year of growth for the group.

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