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Holyrood owner Dods blames uncertainty for profits alert
Dods-owned Holyrood magazine focuses on the Scottish parliament (pic: Terry Murden DB Media Services)
Dods, the business intelligence, events, and publishing company behind titles such as Holyrood magazine and the Politics Home website, said it has experienced “challenging trading conditions in the UK over the past three months”.
In a trading update it said it is pursuing potential merger and acquisition opportunities to generate growth.
While trading in October and November was broadly in line with expectations, December closed significantly behind in response to “unprecedented political uncertainty”.
With fourth quarter revenues forecast to be lower than anticipated, against a backdrop of increased costs of delivery due to long lead time contracts, the stock market listed group has revised its expectations for the current financial year.
The board now expects “significantly lower” than forecasted adjusted EBITDA and a loss before tax (excluding non-cash impairments) for the year ending 31 March 2019.
With lower than expected new product revenues the board is undertaking a review of the software, infrastructure, product offering, investments and intangibles to assess any further impairment impact for the year.
The group continues to hold material cash reserves and has no debt. As at 31 December 2018 the group held £7.3m cash at bank, including restricted cash of £1.27m.
The board said it is “cognisant that the current hiatus in political decision making could continue to adversely affect our business beyond the current financial year end.”
It added: “With this in mind we remain focused on deploying the company’s robust balance sheet to generate growth through potential merger and/or acquisitions in related market sectors whilst continuing to preserve and invest in the group’s heritage brand and assets.
“Whilst the market is challenging, the board remains confident that, in conjunction with potential investments, the group is capable of sustainable profit streams in the longer term.