The Group had another successful year, marked by circulation and revenue growth, prize-winning content and the acquisition of EuroFinance Conference - a product of our strategy to develop intelligent media brands across the world, focusing on the high-end audience that clients value. These results have been achieved in the context of changing advertising markets and a developing digital world.
The Economist's circulation has more than doubled over the last 12 years, demonstrating its increasing relevance, despite, or even perhaps because of, the vast information resources available on the internet. The Economist's circulation of 1,096,154 in the July-December 2005 ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulations) period was 9% ahead of the previous year with gains in all regions. Advertising revenues also showed an increase this year across all of our main markets.
The Economist Intelligence Unit also had a good year, with revenue up 7%. The business has made the transition to a digital world, with 87% of publishing revenues generated from electronic sources. It has launched a number of new products, most recently with World Investment Services and reconfigured internet services.
An outstanding year for Roll Call saw revenue up 40%. Roll Call is the leading title covering the affairs of Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and consequently a natural home for advocacy advertising. The title's performance is largely a result of the decision two years ago to increase frequency to four issues a week, up from twice a week a few years ago, enabling Roll Call to seize its share of the explosive growth in the market.
CFO, the magazine aimed at senior financial executives, enjoys a strong position in the United States. This was underlined by B2B Magazine, which ranked it as one of the top ten places to advertise for business-to-business marketers. Similarly, the 2006 Global Capital Markets survey ranked CFO as the best route to chief financial officers in the world's top 2,000 companies.
In January, The Economist Group bought EuroFinance Conferences, a respected name in cash and treasury-management events, which is being integrated into the CFO business. The Group continues to explore acquisition opportunities that fit its strategy.
Looking forward, chief executive Helen Alexander said, "We've had a great year in print advertising and for circulation. There has been an acceleration of revenue growth at both Economist.com and CFO.com, which is set to continue. The publishing industry is changing fast; readers want their news and analysis delivered electronically as well as on paper and where readers go, advertisers follow. The Group is in an excellent position to address these digital challenges and already 17% of Group revenues come from electronic sources."
"Over the coming year we will be looking for new ways in which to continue producing propositions for electronic media. Our aim is to create successful propositions for readers and advertisers across all electronic print and media, so we are actively exploring online business models and ideas for both new and existing businesses."
(May 21st 2006)