Auto Trader mag faces axe as digital revenues soar

Auto Trader’s 35 year-old print magazine could face closure by the end of 2013, as strong digital revenue drives performance.


Trader Media Group, which is owned by the Guardian Media Group and Apax, revealed that digital now accounts for almost 79% of its revenue, according to the latest figures for the year to 2 April 2012.

Digital revenues from online and smartphones were up 11% to £202m for the same period, while sales revenues from its magazine division were £27.8m, down £16.3m on the previous year.

Annual turnover for the group rose 1% to £257.2m.

The strong digital performance has been driven by the title’s strategy to strengthen its online platforms. It is planning to increase investment in its website over the next three years.

This could lead to a closure of the magazine, which still sells an average of 87,000 copies a week, as the company has repeatedly stated in the past that its future lies on digital channels.

A spokeswoman refused to comment on reports yesterday (3 July) that the magazine could close by 2013.

She adds: “We are constantly evaluating and developing the business model and the channels we use, which includes the magazine format, to ensure we offer the best possible service and experience for our customers.

“It is this growth online coupled with the success of the mobile offering that is driving us to constantly innovate our business and products to ensure we offer motorists the information they require in the channel of their choice.”

John King, chief executive of Trader Media Group, said in a statement: “Although we do not expect a pick-up in the environment, our increasing range of products and services – such as mobile and embedded digital marketing services – together with our considerable data capabilities, provide us with confidence that we will continue to grow profits and generate cash.”

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