Profits triple as Hearst mags take the digital trail

The glossy magazine publisher behind Harper's Bazaar, Esquire and Good Housekeeping has credited its embrace of digital for helping pre-tax profits to triple to £17.4m last year.

Leaving aside exceptionals, operating profits still climbed by a third at Hearst's UK arm, with turnover up 3.4 per cent at £335.6m. Hearst publishes 19 digital editions of its magazines, and 10 grew at double-digit rates in the last year.

The group has also increased in size after its purchase of Hachette Filipacchi titles including Red in 2011. But it has offloaded some magazines including Prima Baby and Coast. Staff numbers rose to 1,168 at Soho-based Hearst.

"The transformation of our business post-integration to a media-neutral, digitally led company is creating a positive and interesting story for Hearst UK," said a spokesman.

Hearst's arch-rival, Condé Nast, reported a 40 per cent drop in pre-tax profit to £10.4m at its UK arm last week.

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