NUMBER CRUNCHING: Condé Nast International, holding company for the European editions of Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair and other titles, has lifted the veil on some of its 2017 financials, which will be published on Companies House, the official register of U.K. businesses, within the next week.
In fiscal 2017, the London-based company saw losses, after exceptional items, shrink to 25.2 million pounds, compared with 37.7 million pounds in the previous year. CNI said losses stemmed from “continuing investment” in digital assets and capabilities aimed at accelerating future growth; business restructuring; property rationalization; the disposal of the women’s title Myself Germany, and the closure of Comag, the magazine distribution company co-owned by Condé Nast and Hearst.
CNI, which oversees Western European markets as well as the group’s operations in China, Japan, Taiwan, India, Russia and Mexico, publishes 30 brands and runs a licensing and restaurant division with local partners in 17 markets.
Stripping out the exceptional costs, Condé Nast International said it was profitable in 2017 and in 2016 and that it anticipated “significant further growth” in 2018.
The company said total, underlying profit in 2017 was 3.2 million pounds, nearly double that of the previous year at 1.7 million pounds, “despite the challenging commercial conditions.”
Counting sales in all the CNI markets such as China, Taiwan, India, Russia, Japan and Spain, where the group has wholly owned properties or joint deals with local partners, Condé Nast International said underlying profit was 39 million pounds.
CNI did not provide a revenue figure for 2017.
The company said it held 54.2 million pounds in cash as of Dec. 31, 2017, down slightly from the previous year, “a reflection of our investment in digital assets and growth capabilities.” Group net assets amounted to 199 million pounds in 2017, slightly down on the previous year.
In terms of digital, the company said Vogue remains “the dominant fashion media voice,” with a combined worldwide readership of 29 million, up from 25 million in 2016. In 2017, it had 89 million unique digital users, up from 77 million in 2016.
In 2017, the company also relaunched Vogue Portugal under a license agreement with Lighthouse Publishing and opened the Condé Nast Social Academy in Italy, which aims to train and educate market influencers.
The company said that, going forward, “diversification of non-core activities” into both business-to-consumer and business-to-business products and services was also a key area of focus.
As reported in January, Condé Nast Britain, which oversees the media group’s British titles, lost just under 14 million pounds in 2017, according to Companies House. It was the first loss for the Condé division since 1995 and was attributed to an internal reorganization.