21 February 2012 – preliminary results

Book publisher Quarto has announced its results for the year to 31 December revealing a 6% increase in revenue to €186.1m (2010: $176.4m) with adjusted pre-tax profits coming in at $12.1m (2010: $11.5m).  Earnings per share on the same basis were 45.6c (2010: 42.3c).  These results were much in line with our expectations (see issue 35) and the net dividend was eaised to 12.4c ( 7.9p).  Although net debt increased to $81.4m (2010: $71.7m) this was after spending $12.4m on acquisitions.  The publishing industry is going through difficult times and these results are testament to the underlying strength of the group.  Although trading conditions are not expected to improve much in the short term, the shares trade on a historic p/e ratio of just over 5x and with the support of a dividend yield of 5.2% they are a HOLD.