Top Right’s 27 per cent profit rise reignites talk of breakup

Top Right, formerly known as Emap, saw adjusted profits rise grow from £68.8m to £85.3m and organic revenues rise by nine per cent to £312m.

The company’s events division, its largest, increased its organic revenues by 14 per cent to £141.5m thanks to the continued success of businesses including the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

The Information services operation, which includes fashion data business WGSN and Groundsure, improved its revenues by six per cent to £92.8m.

The subscription content business, which includes the old Emap stable of magazines including Retail Week and Drapers, boosted revenues by six per cent to £78.4m.

The company said that the traditional print-based Emap business now derives 59% of revenues from digital sources and events. And 66 per cent of corporate subscribers to its titles are now digital-only.

Chief executive Duncan Painter said: “Our three-year turnaround plan is now complete. Our businesses have effective growth strategies in place and clear operating priorities.”

Painter has previously talked down sporadic rumours of the sell-off of all, or large parts, of the portfolio while management looked to boost profitability and cut its huge debt pile.

The company’s latest results are likely to reignite the talk of when a change in ownership might occur, as majority owner Apax is finally able to consider an exit from the business after almost a decade.

Painter has previously ruled out talk of a breakup until at least 2017, but the market for mergers and acquisitions activity has revitalised significantly in the last 18 months.


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