The Economist Group, which is on one hand trying an ambitious internal incubation project (and close to launching something out of it), now has the “capacity and appetite” for larger acquisitions, its CEO said, even after it handed more than $100 million back to shareholders last year in special and ordinary dividends, reports FT. The group, which includes Economist, CFO and Roll Call, is reporting a 27 per cent jump in operating profit to $71 million for the year to March 31, on 12 per cent growth in turnover to about $490 million. Helen Alexander, CEO, said the figures reflected resilient growth in its print titles, combined with a 39 percent jump in electronic advertising revenues. The group would look to acquire “intelligent media brands” targeted at “high-end” audiences, she said…the group had about $60 million of cash at the end of March, and capacity to raise “conservative” debt-financing.
The Economist made unsuccessful bidder for Jane’s Information Group, the story said, which was sold this week for $183.5 million to IHS.