July 29th, 2013

PoliticsHome v Guido: Dods CEO Writes to Staff

politicsKeith Sadler, the new CEO of Ashcroft-controlled political publishing combine Dods plc, has written to reassure employees this morning:


Our results for the 15 months to 31 March 2013 were posted on Friday. The underlying numbers were exactly in line with the guidance we had given to the market the previous year. In fact our cash position was better at £7.0 million.

Our underlying profitability was £0.4 million on turnover of £18.8 million. Guido will point to the loss of which the majority is a non-cash impairment charge (possibly he should worry about why he comes second to Politics Home on the Parliamentary estate).

We have been investing heavily in our technology platforms and continue to do so. This will ensure we will be the market leading political communications and engagement business.

We are adapting to the market much faster and that is down to the talented people who work here. Your hard work will show improved results in the future. This year has begun in line with our budget and we will, together, improve the results of Dods.

I would like to thank you all for the hard work and dedication you show. Any questions please feel free to come and ask me.




Actually out of the £10.2 million loss the non-cash impairment was a £6.9 million write-off of goodwill. The improvement in the cash position was entirely down to a shareholder injection of a much needed £10 million.  It would not be a surprise to Guido to see Dods delist from the London Stock Exchange once the acquisition spree is finished. The firm has not paid a dividend since 2010 and the share price has fallen 75% over that period.

Keith Sadler, the Dods CEO, suggests Guido should be worried about how PoliticsHome.com is more popular in parliament than Order-Order.com. It is true in so much that it has more page-impressions, rather than actual readers, on the parliamentary estate.  Further investigation reveals this is because it is a specialist politics aggregator with a user-unfriendly redesign generating more links to click on – Dods boast that the total number of page impressions has increased ten-fold since the recent redesign. That ten-fold increase is unfortunately not reflected in a proportionate increase in users. PoliticsHome still has narrow appeal, Order-Order.com has some six times as many readers, which ensures its profitability…

Guido’s understanding is that PoliticsHome and Total Politics magazine remain loss making. Inevitably the synergies between the various Dods titles will see them integrated if not actually merged, Keith Sadler is a savvy, sharp businessman and knows revenue is vanity, profit is sanity. Order-Order.com has been more profitable than Dods for years…


  1. 1
    DtP says:

    It is quite useful but why on earth they still use Denis MacShame’s twitter feed is a mystery.

  2. 2
    Andrew Efiong says:

    These sites are so self-serving that they should offer insider tips on how to make bonanza expense claims and breathing techniques for parliamentarians so they can hold stick their snouts in the trough for as long as possible without coming up for air.

  3. 3
    Small business says:

    The Politic Home business certainly has the smell of a business burning cash

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Tawdry Politico says:

    Who f@@@kin cares?

  6. 6
    Point of Information 2 says:

    Even though the accounting is straight, it is still whiffy.

    Good will write downs are generally one off events, and the size of that one leading to only 400k profit on ~19m turnover is really speaking to a ~5.8m real loss.

    If their current cash position is ~7m they will be out of business within 2 years of less unless they can increase their profits. Technology investment doesn’t really cut it as an excuse either as technology has got very much cheaper since the 2007 crash.

    Sounds like they are perpetuating Labour’s business model. That model is un-viable.

  7. 7
    Gordon Brown says:

    They need a financial genius, someone who could save the world, someone like me!

  8. 8
    Anonymous says:

    What’s with the 15-month reporting period and why could it have taken almost 4 months post the results?

  9. 9
    Ed Balls Ed Balls ED BALLS Ed Balls Ed Balls Ed Balls Ed Balls Ed Balls Ed Balls Ed Balls Ed Balls E says:

    They need some of my ol’ spend to save magic.

    They need ME!

  10. 10
    Tosspot says:

    Know and understand your environment, Guido does.

  11. 11
    Jabba Le Chat says:

    Isn’t Total Politics another Iain Dale lemon that someone else had to pick up the tab for?

  12. 12
    An unhappy ex intern... trololol says:

    No wonder Total Politics is loss making, they rely on interns to do it all for them…

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