Emap have announced its results for the year ended 31 March 2006 – with operating profit across the group up 9 per cent to 233 million pounds.
In Radio, revenue is up 44 per cent to 141 million pounds thanks to the acquisition of Scottish Radio Holdings in 2005, with revenue and cost synergies from the acquisition coming through. Figures not including the acquisition would show profits of one per cent. Tom Moloney, Group Chief Executive of Emap, said: ?Our plan is to build a brand-led, multiplatform media group. The decisions and actions taken in the year will allow us to allocate resources behind this goal and will provide us with the building blocks for growth.”
?Our strategic priorities remain targeted investment in core brands to accelerate growth, the launch of new products to meet changing customer needs, and acquisitions to strengthen our market positions and increase the Group?s exposure to faster growth platforms. During the year we have invested ?480 million in acquisitions, which are performing ahead of our expectations, and a record ?25 million in launches, demonstrating our commitment to innovation. We generated ?152 million through disposals and, in February 2006, we announced the proposed sale of Emap France. It is our intention to return surplus funds to shareholders once this sale is completed.”
?We are proposing an increase of 20% in our dividend in line with our revised guidelines of 2x dividend cover, reflecting our strong cash flow and positioning of the business for stronger growth. Trading in the first weeks of the current financial year is in line with our expectations and continues the patterns seen last year.?
Emap’s radio assets comprimise 40 local and eight national stations including the Big City and Magic brands.