DMGT has released its preliminary results. ALthought the headline talks about something called "b2b resilience" the truth is much flakier.
If we ignore currency movements underlying revenues are down 5%. Risk Management Solutions has had a "higher than usual level of cancellations". The property business has crashed but the management claim some signs of improvement in the UK. Euromoney, in which DMG has a stake, has had a tough year and expects the next quarter to be tough.
The exhibition business (late in late out) has experienced softer bookings in the second half and "more recently, encouraging attendances and booking trends, but yet to convert into revenues." And I have no idea what that means.
So it's still tough. A lot of costs have been taken out and, like many others, the management are praying a recovery will come and save them.
Centaur has described with some optimism current trading. The year on year revenu decline has slowed from 32% to 28%. The world is so awful that this is seen as good news these days. Expect the next results to show a year on growth, but the truth is Centaur will take years to get back to where it was, if ever. It will generate cash in the future, but whether there is any meangful growth in value to enjoy is highly questionable. Although some analysts argue that Centaur is undervalued (notably Numis the house broker) this observer thinks the recovery, such as it is, is already in the price.
It wasn't long ago we were mourning the demise of Press Gazette only to see it jolted back to life by Mike Danson. Now Media Week is to close. There will be no saviour. Haymarket has always taken the view that if they can't make a title work then no one can.
Haymarket bought the title some five years ago and has struggled to make sense of it. Having loathed it as a competitor for some years, it never sat warmly alongside Campaign.
Media Week is dead, not because there are no media planners working in ad agencies (its principle audience) but rather because it has failed to find a new revenue model to replace sales job ads and media company flag waving.
Revolution is also closing in all but name, as it becomes an occasional supplement rather than a stand alone title - and Revolution is supposed to be about the sexy bit of media. It only proves that even in relatively good markets, business mags will continue to struggle.
This closure, and that of Contract Journal are just two examples of what will happen to you if you fail to come up with a new business model. Nobody seems to be listening. This blog and others have warned about all this for two or three years - but unless you change fast this is not the end, not even the beginning of the end. It may not even be the end of the beginning.
RBI has announced the closure of Contract Journal. Once highly profitable with a bucket full of tenders ads and recruitment, this recession has finally killed it off. Of course the construction industry will recover, but CJ has failed to adapt to the digital world.
A story that could be applied to too many titles whose relevance has been culled. Even when the recovery comes, for too many it will be too late. As we have said many times before, if you are waiting for the recovery to save you - you are hoping in vain.
Oddly, Reed has a very successful construction data business in the US. A mystery why they haven't joined the dots.
Ian Smith, the newly installed CEO of Reed Elsevier is leaving with immediate effect. Press Gazette reports that the board concluded he was the wrong man from the current economic circumstances. The unspoken implication is that having the one of the worlds great media businesses run by someone who knows how to build houses (he used to be CEO of Taylor Woodrow) may not be the smartest thing to do.
For the poor souls at RBI, where most of the US business is being sold, and some continental europe assets, a new period of uncertainty may begin. With the helm now in the hands of swedish exec from Elsevier, the tolerance for low margin ad based businesses is likely to be low. Elsevier culture has always been about paid content.
As Paid Content points out, Emap has flip flopped on strategy for some time. Now all content on their web sites is to drop behind a pay wall. Unless there is an investment in new high value content there is little or no chance that many web users will chose to pay for news they once got for free.
A strategy that says we can't make money out of ads, so the users must pay, misses the point. If Emap can sell news to drapers I'll eat my hat.
Just last week the Sunday Times reported that Emap has asked its bankers for some discretion on its covenants. Trading is tough with revenues continuing to fall and cost cuts propping up profits. Unless Emap management has the resources and the nouse to invest in marketing and new content this pay wall approach will fail. Some in Emap have doubts too I have heard.
10/10 for bravery. Judgement reserved on implementation.