The Global Media Weekly for executives and entrepreneurs

Mark Allen keeps doing it

We frequently report on the activities of the UK-based Mark Allen Group (MAG), which has become Europe’s fastest-growing B2B media company, not least through a string of keenly-priced acquisitions. Here we go again.

The privately-owned publisher increased profit by 22% in the year ended 31 March 2021, admittedly helped a bit by government grants of £1.7m. But it was the year of pandemic. The highlight was Farmers Weekly (acquired in 2020 from RELX for £12.6m) which generated £11.3m revenue and £2.3m operating profit – and contributed most to a 39% increase in the company’s subscriptions revenue. Given the £600k part-year profit in the previous accounts, acquisition of the UK’s legendary farming brand may payback in 4 years.

Watch out for the results for the year ending 31 March 2022 which see a return of some of the company’s exhibitions, a likely 35%+ increase in revenue, and an elimination of the net debt (presumably, before the next significant deal):

Yr end 31 March
EBITDA£13.2m£10.2m£ 8.4m£ 8.5m
Net debt£7.9m£13.2m£3.6m
*Flashes & Flames estimate / Mark Allen Holdings UK statutory filings

The loss of exhibitions in 2021 increased the advertising share of total revenue to 50% (2020: 43%). But the clues to what comes next may be in the disclosure that a mere 29% of MAG revenue is from digital and just 11% from outside the UK.

Mark Allen Group