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Centaur Media PLC (CAU)

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Thursday 25 October, 2018

Centaur Media PLC

Trading update and accelerated simplification plan

RNS Number : 1099F
Centaur Media PLC
25 October 2018
 

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONTAINS INSIDE INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSES OF ARTICLE 7 OF THE MARKET ABUSE REGULATION (EU) 596/2014

 

25 October 2018

 

Centaur Media Plc

 

("Centaur " or "the Company")

 

Trading update and accelerated simplification plan

 

Centaur, an international provider of market intelligence and specialist consultancy, is today providing a trading update and revising its earnings guidance for the full year. The Company is also announcing a plan to create value for shareholders by exploring opportunities for further simplification by the divestment of select businesses.

 

For the year to 31 December 2018, the Board of Centaur expects to deliver adjusted operating profit of between £5.0-£5.5million which represents year-on-year growth* of 18% at the mid-point, although this is below current market expectations. The increase in profits reflects stronger performances from a number of the group's innovative, leading brands, notably The Lawyer and Marketing Week's Festival of Marketing and Mini MBA programme. With all events now complete, Centaur's exhibitions business has had a good year, and the financial services division has maintained its profitability at an increased margin.

 

Within Centaur's marketing division, both Econsultancy and MarketMakers have recently experienced delays in concluding certain enterprise contracts, which had been expected to contribute to 2018 revenues and profits. MarketMakers is expected to increase its revenues for the full year by 10%. Econsultancy's migration to our new technology platform has now been completed successfully but the delays have held back sales, and profits will be impacted.

 

The Board believes that Centaur has made substantial progress with its transformation in recent years, lessening its former reliance on advertising and print, developing subscription revenues and generating growth through new product development.

 

In recent months, Centaur has received approaches for a number of its assets from potential trade and private equity buyers who recognise the intrinsic value in these businesses, which operate in fast-changing market segments and where leading brands can fetch attractive valuations. The Board believes this value is not reflected in Centaur's current share price.

 

Following a strategic review, the Board has decided to accelerate the simplification of the group's structure by exploring the divestment of select businesses. The Board believes that making the group less complex will deliver operational benefits, generate central cost savings and help to focus attention on the leading brands within the marketing division.

 

Centaur is appointing advisors to assist the Board in conducting this process. It is the Board's intention to return surplus cash from divestments to shareholders in the most tax efficient manner.

 

Andria Vidler, Chief Executive, said: "Centaur has made good progress this year, it has improved its profits, it has strong cash flow and a solid balance sheet. We will now explore whether selective divestments could maximise shareholder value within the medium-term."

 

 

Contacts

 

Centaur Media - 0207 940 4000                                 

Andria Vidler, Chief Executive Officer

Swag Mukerji, Chief Financial Officer

 

Teneo Blue Rubicon - 020 7420 3144

Paul Durman

Rosie Oddy

 


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