Chairman’s report

Highlights for the year ending 31 January 2012

  • Transformational year with all titles now digitised and five APPs for iPad launched
  • New revenue sources established in event management, bespoke research and social media campaigns and pipeline building
  • Database integration completed, with enhanced ability to target customers. Business now on one database platform and better targeting of customers over the coming year envisaged
  • Programme of new and re-launched web sites continues with further developments planned for 2012/13
  • Despite challenging second-half trading environment, the business remained resilient, returning a small trading loss* of £71,500: 2011 trading profit of £253,000
  • In advanced negotiations with an industry figure intending to invest a substantial sum with a view to joining the board and helping the business grow both organically and by acquisition, although there can be no certainty that the investment will proceed.

*pre -reorganisation costs, depreciation, share option expense and amortisation of intangible assets.

Performance during the financial year 2011/12

Major strides were taken by the business during this financial year ending 31 January 2012. All titles are now digitised, offering an enriched experience for the reader. These titles are now available either through an App for the iPad, or direct via enhanced PDF.  Since launch circulation for the digital versions have grown well.

What Investment can now be subscribed for as a pure digital product and individual copies can be purchased through the App or directly from us, providing an additional distribution channel for the title, complementing news stands.

Growth Company Investor is now exclusively available on digital subscription. Subscriber retention has been good to date and we will shortly launch a major marketing campaign to build subscriptions. Early indications are that subscribers find the online version provides research interactivity, which complements Growth Company Investor’s strong editorial content.

Controlled circulation for the digital version of Information Age is growing strongly and we are well on target to eradicate or substantially reduce print copies for these titles.

Finally, an App for Small Business Finance has also been created and it is possible to purchase reports on finance through this distribution channel.

During the year, new revenue streams (Event Management, Bespoke Research and Social Media campaigns) were identified and packaged. Sales channels now include marketing through two new web sites. We have signed new contracts for the Event Management service, which builds on the excellence of the delivery from our hard-working events team. A pipeline is building for our research services, which encompass thought leadership, data analysis and surveys. We are talking to a number of new customers for our research and are confident that we will build this into a significant revenue stream.

We have extended our social media channels and developed plans to build their reach into a significant distribution network for research, new announcements and statistics. With expenditure on social media rising by 75% during the last year, according to market data, we see this as an important area for investment in the current year.  Greater emphasis is being placed on social media channels by our editorial teams. We are also extending the reach and range of our video content; more interviews are being conducted by our in-house team and positioned through our digital and social media channels.

Data represents an important intangible asset for Vitesse.  We hold valuable contacts and information on many thousands of entrepreneurs, high net worth investors, intermediaries and suppliers, which had hitherto been held across a number of discrete platforms.   A major focus of the past year was to link these into an integrated platform allowing enhanced search and analysis and I am delighted to announce that we have now achieved this. Some work remains to clean what has now emerged after the integration, before work begins analysing and targeting customers to cross sell and maximize the work we can enact with them.

Two new sites were launched last year, www.VitesseMediaResearch.co.uk and www.VitesseEventsResearch.co.uk and there was a major re-launch of our market-leading site www.GrowthBusiness.co.uk, incorporating many new initiatives and content from some smaller sites. During the current financial year, our new revenue strategies will be reflected in the corporate web site, which will be completely revamped. In addition, building on the model of GrowthBusiness, there will be re-launches of the Information Age, Small Business and What Investment sites.

The second half of the year proved difficult for trading, particularly the autumn of 2011, and the team has done well to limit the trading loss to £71k (un-adjusted pre-tax loss was £0.5m), although it is obviously disappointing to post a loss at this stage in the cycle, the Group having been so resilient post-the financial crash.

For further information please contact:

Vitesse Media Plc

Executive Chairman: Sara Williams

Chief Executive: Leslie Copeland

 

 

020 7250 7010

020 7250 7014

 

Westhouse Securities Limited

Tom Price, Martin Davison

 

 

020 7601 6100

 

Kreab Gavin Anderson

Robert Speed, Anthony Hughes

 

 

020 7074 1800

 

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