Despite the successful stateside launch last year of flagship title FHM, London-based publishing group Emap has confirmed its intention to withdraw from the US market.

It attributes the decision to “disappointing” ad revenues – although informed onlookers believe it is equally due to the cost of servicing the debt incurred on purchasing its US subsidiary Petersen Group, acquired in January 1999 for $1.2 billion – a price many analysts slammed as inflated.

Emap said it had received several expressions of interest in the former Petersen business and is mulling these. Its UK magazine business, however, is reportedly in good shape with consumer titles' circulation “solid” and ad revenues “improved after a sluggish first half”.

The new media scene is less rosy and the group has undertaken to reduce its investment in Emap Digital by £10 million. The board expects the e-business to break even by 2003.

Emap’s statement is a precursor to announcement of its results for the year ending March 31 2001.

News Sources: CampaignLive (UK); The Times (London)