PR Newswire sees 2002 profits sink

NEW YORK: PR Newswire has reported a 21% decrease in revenues and a 43% decrease in profits for the first half of 2002.

NEW YORK: PR Newswire has reported a 21% decrease in revenues and a 43% decrease in profits for the first half of 2002.

According to a release from London-based parent company United Business Media (UBN), the drop is due to the fact that "corporate scandals and cost pressures are curtailing customer expenditure, and clients are continuing to trade down to lower-cost distribution."

Charlie Morin, CEO of PR Newswire, was keen to put UBN's release into perspective - including the fact PR Newswire's staff was cut by 30% - by explaining that "the news spans a period of 18-24 months. He added that only 56 employees (6%) were cut between January and June of 2002.

While the report has an encouraging outlook for the UK, it said the "outlook for US business is mixed, with continuing pressure on revenues, no upturn anticipated during the rest of 2002, and further substantial cost savings being realized."

Morin said that the negative numbers are a "short-term reaction to the corporate scandals. He predicted that recent uncoverings in the corporate arena will result in positive long-term results for PR Newswire, and that the company has already started to see improvement, and that PR Newswire has invested "a lot of money in advancing product offerings. MultiVu - PR Newswire's broadcast company - generated over $1 million in its first two months.

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