Retail Jeweller up for sale as parent company offloads 13 magazine brands

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Retail Jeweller has been put up for sale by its parent company Ascential plc.

The title, which celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2015, is among 13 magazine brands, along with associated digital products and events, that are classified as Heritage Brands by Ascential, and will be quarantined from the accounts of the surviving business in its next financial report.

“Consistent with the evolution of its internal management reporting structure during 2016, the Group will be reporting these Heritage Brands as a separate segment for its 2016 financial year, the results of which are due to be announced on 27 February 2017. As a result of on­going discussions, the Board now considers a sale of the segment to be highly probable and has therefore reclassified it as a discontinued operation,” a statement from the publicly listed company says.

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Along with Retail Jeweller, the other titles for sale are HSJ, MEED, Drapers, Nursing Times, Local Government Chronicle, Construction News, New Civil Engineer, Ground Engineering, H&V News and RAC, Materials Recycling World and the architecture titles including Architects’ Journal, The Architectural Review and the associated World Architecture Festival.

Print advertising across all Heritage Brands fell to £9m in the 12 months to 30 June 2016, accounting for less than 3% of Group revenue.

Revenue from subscriptions, associated events and digital totalled £54 million in the same period, and there had been speculation that these would remain with Ascential even after the print titles were closed.

But Duncan Painter, chief executive officer of Ascential, announced instead that the entire portfolio would be discontinued or sold. “Ascential’s growth strategy continues to be to focus its resources and investment on its largest brands and those with the highest growth potential,” he explained.

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