Chrysalis Closes the Book on Publishing
Byline: By John Marsden Media Editor
Media group Chrysalis is set to cut its losses on its books division to focus on music and radio stations such as Heart and Galaxy.
Chrysalis - which also runs two West Midlands radio stations - yesterday revealed it was in exclusive talks with managers of the books division over a buyout worth pounds 12.5 million. Executives are keen to sell because the business has performed poorly over the past year and racked up costs when laying off 40 staff during the summer.
The decision was also taken as Chrysalis is involved in battles to resolve problems at its two main divisions, including a decline in radio revenues as advertisers spent less on promoting their products across the airwaves.
At the same time, there was a sharp drop in demand for albums on the Echo record label, which forced the company to cull the number of artists on its roster and will hit the results of Chrysalis Music for the full year.
In a statement, the company said: 'The disposal will allow management to focus on Chrysalis's core radio and music businesses, where it enjoys strong market positions that offer good growth potential.'
Chrysalis's books business, which made losses of pounds 2.8 million in the 12 months to August last year on turnover of pounds 27.4 million, has published novels by actress Joan Collins and former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith.
Chrysalis chief executive Richard Huntingford said: 'Our proposed exit from the books business means we start the new financial year with a much improved base from which to build long-term value for our shareholders. …