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Informa reports 11% pre-tax profits fall

LONDON - Informa, the events and publishing group, has reported a year-on-year pre-tax profits fall of 11% to £96.5m, amid difficult trading conditions and warned of an uncertain outlook.

Informa: pre-tax profits hit by restructuring costs

Informa: pre-tax profits hit by restructuring costs

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The group, which ended talks to acquire German publisher Springer in December last year, reported a revenue dip of 4% from £1.28bn to £1.22bn in the year ending 31 December 2009.

Derek Mapp, chairman of the group, said: "Informa delivered a good performance last year against the backdrop of a very challenging trading environment. The balance sheet was strengthened, operating margins were enhanced through proactive cost management, and earnings increased."

Pre-tax profits were hit by restructuring costs during the financial year, the group said. Reductions in the cost base included cutting its headcount by 8%, which the group said would save around £40m a year in the long term. Informa also scaled back its events output by 25%.

Restructuring costs across its academic information unit cost £34.1m, which included £18m in redundancy costs.

Informa hinted there could be further structural changes ahead, saying it would continue to "make small bolt-on acquisitions" and divesting "businesses that do not fit our long-term strategy".

Across the business, Professional and Commercial Information (PCI), which includes titles such as Scrip and Datamonitor, revenue dipped 2% on an organic basis. However, the group said the division had "some of the highest margins in the group".

It said it was encouraged by the performance of Datamonitor, which it acquired in 2007, despite the tough market.

Its events and training business, which accounts for 46% of revenue, lost £108.8m in revenue due to scaling back its output. However, the division achieved an adjusted operating profit margin of 15.5%.

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