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Friday, December 12, 2008

UBM Updates on Trading

United Business Media plcImage via Wikipedia United Business Media has issued an update ahead of its year end results. The announcement claims that UBM has had its best year for six years but leads with the explanation that much of this is due to the strengthening of the dollar against the pound. This is not quantified in the statement so we cannot judge what is really happening in the underlying business.

I am always amused that public companies will argue that unfavourable exchange rate movements should be ignored when reviewing their results, but favourable movements are always cloaked in a perverse self congratulatory smugness. Spinning, is not confined to the world of politics.

The statement notes that some print products and events are struggling. Exhange rate or not, this is a rare almost good news story, only slightly blushed by the acknowledgement that 350 jobs are to go.

UBM is doing some interesting things. Their internal Wiki (see article below) is proving a useful tool for sharing knowledge around their organisation, they have taken the lead in "delayering" of management, expansion in to developing markets and have been succesfully weaning themselves off print dependency. However their share price, like everyone elses has tumbled this year and an exposure to exhibitions is by no means an insurance against a rough period to come.

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