Spring clean costs Future £50m

Sales for the year to September 30th rose slightly to £224.9m year-on-year and trading profit was £13.7m, but extraordinary items mean an overall loss before tax of £49m.

The biggest hit is an an impairment charge of £45m  against the carrying value of intangible assets relating to the group’s UK, US and Italian subsidiaries to reflect more accurately the trading levels of these businesses.

Key strategic moves in the past year include the appointment of a new CEO in Stevie Sprin, a top-to-toe review of the business which has already seen job cuts and the disposal of its Italian subsidiary, reduction of debt and increased focus on organic brand development and online revenue streams.

"It is clear with hindsight that during the past two years, Future over-invested in acquisitions and under-invested in organic development," said Spring.

"The consequences of this strategy are clearly evident in today’s disappointing results, with underlying profits down by a third and some significant exceptional charges and write offs."

Future believes it is now firmly moving in the right direction, but it looks like there is more pain to come.
"I am pleased at how the business is responding to the changes we’re making, but anticipate that 2007 will be a year of transition as we evolve our business models to reflect changing consumer, advertiser and retailer behaviour, and ensure we have a more focused and responsive group," added Spring.

"Our new financial year has begun satisfactorily, but we continue to take a cautious view of our markets and anticipate that trading conditions will remain challenging throughout 2007."



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