Hearst has achieved record results across several units but many of its consumer media businesses face “something of an advertising recession something of an advertising recession as companies cut back or put a hold on spending out of caution,” said Hearst CEO Steven Swartz in an annual letter.
The businesses seeing record growth included HearstTelevision; Hearst Health’s FDB, MCG and Homecare Homebase; HearstTransportation’s CAMP, MOTOR, Black Book and Noregon Systems; and classic car auction site Bring a Trailer.
However, with “the looming threat of a global downturn or recession and central banks around the world continuing to raise interest rates in order to beat back inflation, this year also presents a host of challenges and a very difficult environment in which to try to grow,” Swartz continued.
In addition, “Our U.S. Magazines company also had a difficult year, hit by a combination of inflation and widespread cutbacks by advertisers as business conditions around the world worsened,” he added.
But while not posting all-time records, “Hearst Newspapers, our overseas magazine operations and the television ventures we share with our great partners the Walt Disney Company, ESPN and A+E Networks were all up over the last year,”Swartz stated.
The company reinvested more than $200 million in capital projects and over $100 million incremental new product development.
Meanwhile, Fitch acquired dv01 and GeoQuant, Homecare Homebase acquired CellTrak and MOTOR acquired Full Throttle Technologies.
Given the firm’s strong financial performance, all employees who have worked at Hearst for at least half of last year are eligible for a bonus that will be paid by the end of the month.