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Tuesday, 5 March, 2002, 15:22 GMT
UBM hit by advertising downfall
CMP's website
UBM is concentrating on the business-to-business market
Britain's United Business Media (UBM) became yet another victim of the falling advertising market.

The media company, which operates in the US, Europe, Latin America and Asia, reported its profits were slashed by a half in 2001 to 96.8m ($137.7m).

The UBM chief executive Clive Hollick named the past year "one of the toughest trading periods we have experienced as the slump in technology advertising halved group profits".

The situation in the company's core business, the CMP Media, which is a part of UMB's professional media division and whose stable of technology publications includes the 440,000-circulation trade bible Information Week, was even worse.

CMP saw profits fall by 89% to 10.8m on turnover down 29%.

No rosy future

The parent company does not see any improvement in the near future.

"There is lots of talk about a recovery but we do not see any tangible signs. But there are no further signs of downturn," Mr Hollick said.

Most media companies have seen a slump in advertising, and therefore profits.

Britain's Pearson group, the owner of the Financial Times, posted a 12% pre-tax profits loss for 2001 on Monday.

Reshuffling business

The companies are trying to boost profits by launching cost-cutting programmes and slashing free services.

UBM has sold off a series of operations, including Express Newspaper, to focus largely on the business-to-business market.

The chief executive said he was prepared to spend $400m on acquisitions "based on our current level of profitability".

No terms or targets were given.

UBM reported that although CMP Media is far from recovery other group's businesses were doing relatively well.

Shares in UBM, which soared 30% over the past four weeks to a seven-month high of 600p, were trading 2.3% lower in early trade on Tuesday.

See also:

04 Mar 02 | Business to start charging users
04 Mar 02 | Business
RTL's profits fall 35%
14 Dec 01 | Business
Channel 5 feels advertising chill
24 Feb 02 | Business
Leo Kirch: 'Murdoch is a shark'
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