02 December 2016


Hearst UK has reported a £5.4m annual loss and plans to close one print magazine and two online titles.

Accounts for National Magazine Company, the operating company for Hearst in the UK, showed revenues fell nearly 5% to £282m last year.

The publisher of Good Housekeeping, Elle, Harpers Bazaar and Esquire said profitability was hit by "a fall in revenues" at Comag, the magazine distribution business that it co-owns with Conde Nast, and a writedown on the value of some publishing assets.

Leaving aside the performance of Hearst UK’s joint ventures, the "core media business" increased profits "slightly", according to Anna Jones, the chief executive. "With the revenue pressures we’re under, we were pleased with that," Jones told Campaign. "We had a good year."

The accounts said operating profit before exceptional items, known as Ebitda, dropped 11.4% to £11.7m. The exceptionals included a writedown on the value of a new software system at Comag. The impairments, which Jones described as "prudent", pushed Hearst UK to a pre-tax loss of £5.4m from a pre-tax profit of £6.4m a year earlier.In a sign that Hearst UK remains under financial pressure, it has told staff in recent days that it plans to shut All About Soap magazine and websites Reveal.co.uk and Sugarscape.com. It is thought that as many as 50 jobs could be at risk, although Jones would not comment because the publisher is in consultation with staff.