Earnings: B2B Publisher Centaur Media Digital Revenue Drops 11 Percent

It’s often said as the paid content debate rages on that B2B publishers find it easier to make money online than their consumer media cousins. Tell that to Centaur Media, which saw its online product revenue drop 11.9 percent to £15.5 million for the year to 30 June, while online EBITDA fell 12.2 percent to £3.6 million. Online subscription revenue fell by £100,000 to £6.9 million. Release.

Overall, that contributed to a 88 percent pretax profit drop for the year, with revenue down 27 percent to £66.3 million. The figures are not helped by a 34 percent year-on-year reduction in advertising revenue or a £1.7 million restructuring charge as the business has shut titles, laid off more than 100 staff, and integrated print and online operations.

Print profit meltdown: At least online is holding up better than struggling print: the profits of Centaur’s print titles have almost been wiped out entirely. Its magazines made £10.7 million in EBDITA in 2007-8 but that has plummeted to just £600,000 in the year to July, a 94.4 percent reduction.

Cost savings: Centaur saved £9.6 million in the year to July and promises to save another £12 million in “fixed cost base” savings in the next three to five years, which sounds like more redundancies and/or title closures. In the last year the company shed 139 staff, representing 18 percent of employees.

What recovery?: Others may not have seen the evidence that publishing will return to anything like the profit levels it previously enjoyed, but that doesn’t stop Centaur chairman Graham Sherren declaring that “whilst progress may initially be slow I expect revenues to return to their previous levels as we begin to take full advantage of this recovery.”