Centaur racks up growing losses after writedown on its divisions

Oliver Smith
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BUSINESS to business publishing group Centaur Media reported losses yesterday of £37.4m for the year ending 30 June.

The owner of The Lawyer and Marketing Week saw profits collapse after the company announced a non-cash impairment charge of £39.2m on its books.

“We now have a sharper focus on markets and customers and a strong pipeline of new digital platforms and event launches,” said interim chief executive Mark Kerswell.

The writedown charge on the value of its marketing, professional and financial publishing divisions was because of the company’s, “weakness in print advertising sales and also the reduction in expectations for overseas operations.”

Centaur Media has been searching for a chief executive to replace Geoff Wilmot, who stood down in May after a shock profit warning that improvements to 2012’s profits (£2.7m) would be “modest”.

Revenues for the year grew to £72m, up from £65.6m in 2012, on the back of the company’s growing digital, paid-for content and events.

Peel Hunt analyst Malcolm Morgan said yesterday’s results were positive: “We see little in today’s announcement to suggest a change to the underlying expectations for the near future”.

Market reaction to the news was largely favourable yesterday, boosted by analysts from Peel Hunt and Westhouse Securities maintaining hold and neutral ratings for the company. Shares in the media group rose nearly three per cent to close at 44.7p.