UK-headquartered media group United Business Media posted a 24% drop in profits for last year after earnings from its US units halved.

The group reported profit before tax and exceptional items of £72.9 million ($114.9m; €106.6m) for 2002, down from £95.9m the year before. Operating profits tumbled 20% to £64.9m, while revenues sank 15% to £793.4m.

In the US, UBM’s CMP Media technology publishing unit was hard hit by the troubles affecting tech firms. Also, its PR Newswire news distribution service was affected by the decline in merger activity. Total profits from its US subsidiaries slumped from £47.7m in 2001 to £20m last year.

Despite the decline in profits, UBM said it was on the lookout for acquisitions, and is interested in Interpublic Group’s US market research arm NFO WorldGroup.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff