Car manual publisher Haynes’ revenue increased 15% in six months, driven by a 50% growth in its digital products.
Digital now accounts for 36% of the publisher’s business (£5.1m), up 50% year-on-year. The company released its half-yearly trading update today (26th January) for the six months to 30th November, revealing that group revenue was up 15% to £14.0m, although like-for-like group revenue was up by a more modest 1% to £12.3m. At the same time, group profit before tax was up 67% to £0.5m.
The results follow its decision in May last year to close its US and Swedish printing and distributing bases and axe 41 jobs - 17% of its workforce -because of falling demand for print manuals in the US and Australia. The US distribution is now outsourced, while Swedish customers are served by the UK. The move followed previous profit warnings from the publisher following “soft” trade and tighter inventory controls from retailers.
At the time, the company said it would use the "substantial savings" accrued from closing the US and Swedish bases to accelerate the development and marketing of its consumer and professional digital platforms and today the company said it had invested £3.3 million in new content, platforms and services development for its professional and consumer product ranges.
The group's chief executive Eric Oakley retired at the end May last year and was replaced by John Haynes Jr, son of the company’s founder.
Its results today showed that UK trading had continued to be strong, with revenue growth up 17% year-on-year, helped by “Haynes Explains” manuals which contributed to a 47% increase in sales of its nonautomotive titles. However, US and Australian trade was still tough, with local currency revenue down 20% year-on-year.
Eddie Bell, chairman of Haynes Group, today said that although the company had partly benefited from exchange rates, the results reflected a strong “organic performance” from the business. “During the period, we have continued to see good growth across our digital product ranges which now represent 36% of group revenue, in part facilitated through the update and launch of VESA Mk II, our market leading electronics diagnostic solution. We have also completed the outsourcing of group printing and order fulfilment in the US, which has allowed us to cut significant costs from the business,” he said.
He added that its recent acquisition of OATS Limited , a database for the lubricants sector of the oil industry, helped to broaden the base of the Haynes Group and would also strengthen the relationship between the company, parts distributors and global oil companies.