Earnings Preview: Emap, Future Concentrate On Online Development

Emap (LSE: EMA): The magazine and radio group issued a realistic trading update for the half-year to September, ahead of its official half-year results on November 13. B2B division revenue will be up five percent (and looks a likely sell-off candidate), radio creeps up two percent but the consumer magazines division, which includes the websites corresponding to titles, has dropped by eight percent. If individual magazines are not cherry-picked by rival publishers as part of Emap’s strategic review, the whole division looks ripe for a private equity buyer to come in and restructure. The group spent £14 million in the period on new product development, mostly online, and expects to have invested a total £25 million over the full year.

Future: Future Publishing’s (LSE: FUTR) trading update for the year to September (the official version will be filed November 28) was a bland affair that serves mainly as a holding statement to reassure investors its doing plenty with the web: “Group strategy continues on track. The Group is actively developing its online business and the only acquisitions made during the current financial year have been of online properties.”