Future blames weak sales on games market – and warns more cuts are ahead

Specialist games magazine publisher Future is planning more cuts, it has warned in a new trading updated.

Sales in the three months up to June 2013 were below expectations and the firm will miss targets, it said today.

So Future plans to keep cutting its print cost base until the firm’s books are "better aligned with the changing business".

"The senior management and Board are not satisfied with the pace of improvement and have agreed to accelerate our cost saving programme to generate a 2-2.5m margin improvement in the coming year," the interim statement says today.

That’s lead some to speculate jobs will be cut too, although the firm won’t comment on that.

Group revenues were up a single percent from October 2012 to June 2013.

As usual the firm says its digital business is strong, but the overall flat performance was down to "owing chiefly to continuing weakness in the Games market".

The firm’s digital revenues are 24 per cent up year-on-year for the nine month period, and advertising revenues are approaching 60 per cent from digital markets. Digital edition revenues on the iPad and other tablets are 50 per cent up on a year ago.

Overall, Future insists that its outlook is ‘encouraging’ with a ‘strong’ pipeline in the next quarter.

Mark Wood, Future plc Chief Executive, commented: "We are disappointed to miss our target for the full year and as a result we are bringing forward plans to reduce legacy print costs and improve operating margins in the period ahead.

"We see encouraging trends across the business for the final quarter and the year ahead, including in the Games sector in the run up to major new console launches later this year, and anticipate delivering significant revenue and profit growth in the coming year."

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