Future FY profits dip 61%

Future Publishing’s full year profits dropped 61 per cent in the 12 months to September 30th – with CEO Stevie Spring admitting the US division of the firm suffering a difficult” year.

However, it was better news for the UK office of the company, which Spring said had out-performed the market, increasing profits "despite a relatively modest revenue decline”.

According to Future’ preliminary results, the firm’s overall pre-tax profit hit 3.7 million – down 61 per cent on 2008’s 9.5 million.

Revenue dipped six per cent to 153.1 million, compared to 162 million a year before.

The firm’s net debt was reduced 29 per cent from 2008’s 21.9 million to 15.6 million.

Revenue from subscriptions was up seven per cent across the business, as was customer publishing revenue.

Future said that online’s percentage of the company’s revenue grew four per cent in the year, up to 23 per cent.

Future publishes the Official Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox magazines, as well as Edge and other specialist games magazines. Online, it owns GamesRadar, CVG and Edge-Online.

Future’s Chief Executive Stevie Spring said:

The scale, intensity and complexity of the challenges of 2009 were unprecedented. Given these factors, Future’s performance was remarkably resilient compared to its media sector peers: testament to the strength of our special-interest business and our clear operational focus.

The year was a tale of two markets. Our larger UK business out-performed the market, increasing profits despite a relatively modest revenue decline. Our US business experienced a very difficult year – hit by a general advertising market in freefall and unprecedented disruption at newsstand.

But we dealt with everything the economic maelstrom threw at us and we responded in a proportionate way. Furthermore, the Group made good progress in its strategy; we continued to invest appropriately in new commercial opportunities and in new talent; and we made milestone progress in reducing bank debt. These factors will serve us well in the future.

Our immediate priorities in 2010 are to carry through the measures we’ve introduced to strengthen our US business, and to navigate the near-term global economic challenges. Trading for the new financial year has continued to be challenging, both in the UK and the US and we expect conditions to remain difficult in 2010. So we’re taking a cautious view.

But our flexibility in the face of changing market dynamics, the robustness of our portfolio business and continued progress in our strategy, all give me confidence that Future is as well-positioned as it can be to see out the continuing storm and to benefit from recovery.”

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