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United says second half in line with expectations

LONDON - United Business Media has said it is on target to meet its second-half expectations, with strong growth in its PR Newswire, exhibitions and online divisions offsetting poor trading in its magazines.

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United's news distribution business, PR Newswire, has expanded its product offering and added additional services, growing the business in line with expectations. Outside the US, PR Newswire is on track to exceed its 10% margin.

United said its CMP Information group, which runs exhibitions and business magazines including Music Week, Property Week and Building, is showing strong results in exhibitions but its print business is weak in certain areas, with recruitment advertising suffering the most.

The media group said it had made gains from selling its automotive titles, including Exchange & Mart, to regional newspaper firm Newsquest for £50.25m in September.

United also sold off its stake in Five this year for £247m to RTL and market research arm NOP for £383m to Gfk. 

The sale enabled the group to acquire the Publican titles and events for £51.7m from Quantum, which are continuing to achieve targeted returns. 

United's US operation CMP Media is performing in line with expectations overall. Events are growing and online is strong, offsetting continuing declines in print.

Elsewhere, United's healthcare and education business, CMP Medica, is performing well with good progress in France. However, United said it was facing a "more challenging" situation in Asia.

In the coming year, United said it is looking to increase its presence in online and exhibitions with the money from disposals.

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