Thursday 24 January 2019 9:39 am

Haynes shares soar as growing digital business boosts half-year results

Publisher Haynes saw its share price jump this morning after reporting a rise in half-year revenue and profits as it looks to shift its car manuals to digital formats.

The figures

Haynes reported a 23 per cent rise in profit before tax to £1.6m in the 26 weeks to the end of November.

Revenue jumped seven per cent year-on-year to £18.3m.

Net cash rose to £2.6m from £0.3m debt in the same period last year.

Earnings per share soared 32 per cent from 6.2p to 8.2p.

Read more: Pearson sees shares hit by declining US revenues as profits remain on track

Why it’s interesting

The publishing group behind the famous car manuals has proved resilient to the challenges facing the retail and publishing sectors, with a strong increase in revenues and profit for the half-year.

Hayes said the results reflect the value of its content both to drivers and to the automotive aftermarket.

While the sale of print manuals remains strong, rising four per cent in the UK over the period, the company saw 53 per cent of its revenue come from digital sales.

This is up from 46 per cent in 2017, and the first time the company has generated more than half its revenue from digital sources.

The firm said the professional side of its business, which has seen heavy investment, is purely digital.

Like-for like revenue in North America and Australia was down four per cent year-on-year.

Haynes said it has withdrawn from a low-margin print legacy business in Australia. It acknowledged the company faced challenges in the US, but said it has focused on reshaping its business by growing its online presence.

Shares in Haynes jumped more than 14 per cent this morning.

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What Haynes said

Chief executive John Haynes Jr. told City A.M.:

“I think the team at Haynes have delivered another set of very positive results and I think that the continued growth illustrates the value of our content and data solutions, both to drivers and also to the automotive aftermarket.

“We will continue to focus on providing choice to drivers, allowing them to decide how they want to look after their cars and at the same time facilitate efficiency in the automotive aftermarket.”

He added: “The fact that we’ve seen growth in print sales in the UK and Australia shows there is still demand for the print product. But if people prefer a digital format, we also have that.”