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Centaur answers tough question

by on 19 Sep, 2011

Centaur Media’s results for its full year show that swift if painful action can keep the ship of B2B magazine publishing not only afloat but sailing strongly.

Some reports concentrated on the £30.3 million pre tax loss.  That’s understandable.

Closer look

But a closer look shows a more healthy position at Centaur: revenues up 14%; earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) up also 14%.

Centaur spent £2.9 million on restructuring costs: mostly the 100 or so redundancies.  But this, it projects, will save it £1.5 million a year.  Companies often do not get all of the savings they project from restructuring: but even £1 million a year will pay the costs of restructuring back in 3 years.

Print strong

And the print side looks good, whatever the understandable rush to digital.  In the publishing operations, excluding the events side, business grew 13% on paper and 12% for digital.

The City seems to like the picture: four analysts made Centaur a “BUY” and the shares are up a bit.  So the shareholders should be happy.

Centaur has more to sell of the publications is has chosen to shed.

Tough question

It is a pity for the journalists, publishers and advertising staff made redundant in this tough climate.  But there are some good people there who will find a home in other publishers.

And you have to ask the tough question: do you want to be in a company what is not taking action or one with strong financial fundamentals which has?

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