Centaur Media's results hit by weak print advertising sales

Centaur Media's shares plunged Wednesday as Chief Executive Geoff Wilmot announced his resignation and the company warned of a modest profit increase below expectations this year.

Centaur Media's shares plunged Wednesday as Chief Executive Geoff Wilmot announced his resignation and the company warned of a modest profit increase below expectations this year.

The UK media company said while revenue and forward bookings have improved in the four months to April, it does not anticipate growth in the remainder of the financial year to June 30th.

Weakness in print advertising has weighed heavy on the group's financial performance. Underlying print revenues fell by 14% in the four months to April 30th compared to a 4.0% rise in digital and a 7.0% jump in events.

It was partially offset by prior year cost savings and growth in other parts of the group.

"However, the operational leverage associated with these revenues means that the board now only expects to deliver modest profit growth relative to adjusted profit before tax of £8.0m reported last financial year," Centaur said.

Total underlying revenues fell by 2.0% compared to a 3.0% underlying decline in the first half.

Operating cash flow in first four months of the year was marginally lower than in the same period last year, reflecting higher levels of capital expenditure and working capital.

Net debt at the end of April was £24.4m but will edge lower in the final two months of the year.

"Looking ahead, our investment in existing and new products has given us a strong pipeline of new digital platforms and event launches," said Chairman Patrick Taylor.

"With print revenues expected to stabilise, digital and events revenues growing well, and deferred revenues of £19m, 32% ahead of the same period last year, we believe that the outlook for the 2014 financial year remains positive."

Shares tumbled 29.79% to 33p at 09:55 Wednesday.

RD

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