Future rising, but wary

June 14th by Stuart Dinsey

Magazine giant Future has this morning reported growth for its first six months - but offered a note of caution for the rest of 2005.

The company, which dominates the consumer games magazine landscape, saw sales rise five per cent to £104.3m in the six months ending March 31st.

Adjusted profit before tax was marginally ahead at £12.8m, enhanced by £1.6m of profit on the disposal of non-trading subsidiaries but held back by exceptional costs including £2.2m for the aborted bid to buy all of Highbury House.

Some 16 titles were acquired and four launched in the first half, with nine launches due in the second half. Significant expansion and diversification of the group is planned through the £30.5m acquisition of 38 titles from Highbury – which is expected to complete this month.

“This is an important year for the group, as we plan to double the size of the business in terms of both revenues and profits in the next four years,” said Future chief executive Greg Ingham.

“The actions that we have taken this year will expand Future UK by over a third. But trading in the second half has begun a little below our expectations and our short-term outlook is therefore cautious.”


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