Conde Nast UK tumbles to £14m loss

Magazine publisher hit by spike in restructuring costs, while turnover dipped 6%.

Condé Nast, the publisher of Vogue and GQ, has posted a £13.6m pre-tax loss in the UK in 2017 as the costs of restructuring its business piled up.

The magazine publisher’s loss was significantly down on the £4.76m pre-tax profit it reported in 2016, according to its latest financial report from Companies House.

Condé Nast took a £12.9m hit in exceptional items, including £5.67m on "staff costs", which would include redundancy payments, and £7.18m in "other operating expenses". The company said it had also invested £2.2m in its closed pension scheme.

The figures reflect a tough 12 months in which Glamour – once the UK’s biggest women’s monthly magazine with a circulation in excess of 600,000 – was cut to two issues a year, after its circulation decline was exacerbated by competition from Hearst's Cosmopolitan.

GQ and Vogue’s circulations declined by 11% and 7% year on year respectively in 2017, according to August ABC figures.

Condé Nast said winding down its 35% investment in Comag, the joint distribution venture with Hearst UK, from which it withdrew in 2017, required the company to provide a £5m against a loan it was granted.

Meanwhile, Condé Nast’s turnover for the 12 months ending 31 December 2017 was £113.5m, down 6.6% from the previous year.

Staff numbers were down by 56 to 610 in 2017, but wages increased by 11.3% to £39.84m.

Albert Read, managing director at Condé Nast UK, wrote in the results: "Condé Nast continues to make significant investments in its long-term digital growth, including the development of multiple global platforms to unlock the potential of our global network and better serve our audiences and clients."

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