Marketing Week publisher Centaur faces exit from print as revenue plummets

When I was at Marketing Week – decades ago – it made a fortune: display advertising flourished on the free circulation title and classified was a positive goldmine delivering an annual profit of at least £2m.

Times have changed alas; and investors in the City will wonder if Centaur Media has changed accordingly.

Today the company unveiled what, usually, would be a profit warning. Chairman Patrick Taylor said: “Although disappointed by the weak performance in our print, recruitment and overseas revenues we are continuing to make good progress in diversifying our revenue mix towards higher growth digital and events.

“Looking ahead, our investment in existing and new products has given us a strong pipeline of new digital platforms and event launches. With print revenues expected to stabilise, digital and events revenues growing well, and deferred revenues of £19m, 32 per cent ahead of the same period last year, we believe that the outlook for the 2014 financial year remains positive.”

But print revenues were down 14 per cent in the period and CEO Geoff Wilmot (left) is resigning while business division boss Tim Potter is also seeking his future elsewhere.

The message is pretty clear: magazines like Marketing Week, The Lawyer, Money Marketing and, maybe, Creative Review don’t work any more (or they don’t with Centaur’s hardly inspirational management).

So I’d expect all these things to go online-only PDQ.

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