Wednesday, 15 October 2008

FT Group reports 11% revenue rise (Guardian)

FT Group reports 11% revenue rise
Oliver Luft,
Wednesday October 15 2008 10.06 BST
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Financial Times publisher FT Group enjoyed an 11% year-on-year rise in total revenues for the first nine months of 2008, bucking the downward trend in recent newspaper sector financial results.
FT Group saw advertising revenue rising 1% over the same period, parent company
Pearson reported today in a trading update.
The increase in circulation and advertising revenues was matched by an increase in interactive data revenue, which rose 8% over the same period in 2007, gaining from continued growth of new businesses, the trading update stated.
This group-wide increase included a revenue rise of 14% at FT Publishing, which houses the FT and the company's specialist trade titles, with Pearson saying it expected this part of the business to increase profits this year.
"The Financial Times and Mergermarket are continuing to increase their content revenues and build their audiences through the volatility in global financial markets," the company said.
"Mergermarket is achieving good sales growth and strong renewal rates. Operating profits continue to show good growth, as expected, and for the full year we expect FT Publishing to increase profits even if there is no growth in advertising revenues."
Overall in the first nine months of 2008 Pearson also saw revenue increase, up 8% year on year, with operating profit up 11%.
The company stated it continued to perform well despite the economic crisis, that trading was in line with expectations, and that earnings for the full year would be towards the top end of market estimates if the US dollar continued to strengthen against the pound.
Pearson reported strong growth in its education divisions, with overall revenue in this area up 10%.
These positive figures saw Pearson shares rise this morning, increasing 3.4% on last night's close to 578.50p at around 9.30am, amid another sharp general decline in the FTSE 100 in London in early trading.
"Pearson's strong performance continues. We're naturally cautious about the global economic conditions, but we have good trading momentum, innovative products, resilient businesses and a strong balance sheet," said the Pearson Group chief executive, Marjorie Scardino.
"With those advantages, we believe we are in good shape to prosper and strengthen our company, even through these turbulent times."
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