Thursday 5 January 2017 1:31 pm

Non-Ascential items: Events company puts 13 magazines up for sale, including Health Service Journal, Drapers and Construction News

Publisher and events company Ascential has put 13 of its magazines up for sale.

The Health Service Journal, Construction News, Local Government Chronicle, Drapers and other titles have been separated from the rest of the business into a separate operating entity.

Ascential said it was seeking new owners for the “heritage brands”, which sit within EMAP, a subsidiary of the group.

Ascential's shares are currently trading up one per cent at 271.5p.

According to the statement, which listed the titles up for sale, Retail Week is not among the brands being separated. 

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The company said the heritage brands generated revenues of £63m in 2015, down from £64m in 2014. In the first half of 2016, turnover was £26m, down from £29m the year before.

Ascential’s print advertising revenue totalled £9m in the year to 30 June 2016, meaning less than three per cent of total turnover, and the heritage brands made up more than 90 per cent of this.

“Ascential’s growth strategy continues to be to focus its resources and investment on its largest brands and those with the highest growth potential,” said chief executive Duncan Painter.

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“Our top five products represented 56 per cent of group revenue and 71 per cent of adjusted Ebitda in the 12 months to 30 June 2016.

“This move will further focus our portfolio on our largest market leading products. The heritage brands, with large, loyal audience communities, provide an exciting opportunity for new owners.”