Future endures challenging quarter for games portfolio

Future Publishing has blamed ‘tough conditions at the newstands’ for an unspectacular, if resilient, trading update for the three months to December 31st, 2008.

The US and UK company revealed that Games – its single biggest portfolio, comprising 32 per cent of its business in FY08 – had a challenging quarter, driven by an accelerated decline in PC gaming and the ‘very tough’ US advertising environment.

Its other three portfolios – Technology, Music & Movies and Active, comprising to thirds of its business – the company said that it saw ‘continued resilience at newsstand and in advertising’.

Total revenue was up one per cent to 41 million in the quarter, flattered by current exchange rates, whilst increases in advertising and other revenue streams offset a two per cent decline in circulation revenue

A 25 per cent increase in online advertising more than offset a four per cent decline in print.

However, the company admitted that in terms of a percentage change in constant currency terms, circulation revenue was down eight per cent, ad revenue was down nine per cent and total revenue was down seven per cent.

Stevie Spring, Future plc Chief Executive said:

Our focus this year is on guiding our business effectively through the uncharted waters of the current macroeconomic environment and ensuring we remain on course to deliver sustainable growth in the mid-term.

While of course we’re not immune to current challenges, we’re mitigating these through the active management of our portfolio and through building in greater cost flexibility. We remain confident that we’re in the best shape we can be to deal with whatever challenges lie ahead and are on track to deliver against expectations for the full year.”

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