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UBM Laid Off ‘Over 500’ in Second Half ‘08

London-based publisher reports year-end profits up 4.5 percent.



By Jason Fell
03/03/2009

As part of its 2008 year-end financial statement, United Business Media—the London-based parent of the former CMP Technology—said it laid off more than 500 staffers in the second half of last year. That’s up from 350, which the company reported in December.

The layoffs, UBM said, were part of a sweeping reorganization that began early last year, effectively transforming the company into four separate businesses. The company incurred roughly $47.1 million in charges associated with the workforce reduction and other initiatives.

Before the layoffs, UBM employed approximately 6,500 people in more than 30 countries.

Revenues, Profits Up

Events, data, services and online now make up roughly 60 percent of UBM’s overall profit mix, according to CEO David Levin. UBM reported an adjusted operating profit on continuing operations of roughly $245.7 million, up 4.5 percent from 2007. Year-end revenue was about $1.25 billion, up 10.7 percent.

“In 2008 we continued our long term strategy to reshape UBM with a more diverse and resilient set of products and services, operating in higher growth markets and economies,” Levin said in a statement. “We also have taken early action to reduce costs and have maintained a prudent balance sheet, allowing us to continue to make selected acquisitions as pricing improves and opportunities arise.”

Events were UBM’s biggest money-maker in 2008, accounting for 32.9 percent of revenue and 47.3 percent of profits. Events booked for 2009 are showing a 5 percent increase in revenue, the company said.

Meanwhile, print magazines accounted for an increasingly smaller portion of the revenue pie last year, making up 24.3 percent of UBM’s overall sales and 13.8 percent of profits (compared to 2004 when print magazines accounted for 56.2 percent of overall sales). The downward trend will continue this year as the company projects print will account for less than 10 percent of overall profits.

UBM also made 14 acquisitions in 2008—a combined investment of roughly $54.4 million.

By Jason Fell
03/03/2009




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