Life looked a bit grim for Haymarket, publisher of Campaign, Management Today, Brand Republic and What Car? among many others, last year after a pre-tax loss in 2009 of £3.7m.
This was only the half of it as the company, now wholly-owned by the Heseltine family, was forced to mortgage its collection of properties around its Hammersmith HQ as the recession and the migration of ads from print to online hammered revenues.
Meanwhile the company was burdened with the high costs of the breakneck international expansion launched by company godfather Michael Heseltine after he retired from government (he was deputy PM in John Major’s Tory administration) and resumed control of the family business (son Rupert, pictured, is now chairman).
Now Haymarket has reported a pre-tax report of £5.2m in 2010 on increased revenues of £235m (up nearly four per cent) although the UK business is still losing money (£77,000 down from a potentially terminal £5.9m). It says 40 per cent of its revenues now come from digital and conferences, although it’s safe to assume that these are at lower margins than good old print advertising.