Profit boost puts mag publisher Future 'back on track'

Special interest publisher Future reported this morning that adjusted year-on-year profits rose nine per cent in the 12 months to the end of September.

The publisher said reducing financial costs, charges and the return to profit of its US business – which contributes 30 per cent of overall revenue – helped pre-tax adjusted profits reach £8.3m in the period, up from £7.6m the previous year.

Revenue at Future – which counts T3, Total Film, Classic Rock magazines amongst its flagship brands – in the 12 months to the end of September was down one per cent to £151.5m, the company reported this morning in its preliminary full-year results.

Circulation revenue fell two per cent year on year to £88.7m in the period and advertising revenue dropped five per cent to £45.4m – however, revenue from customer publishing rose 43 per cent to £11.6m.

Future said 75 per cent of its revenue came through its print magazine business. This generated £33.9m, a year-on-year drop of nine per cent. Digital revenue was £11.5m, up eight per cent year on year.

At Future’s UK business circulation revenue fell by four per cent to £66.5m and within this subscription revenue grew by three per cent, domestic newsstand revenue declined 11 per cent and export revenue grew by three per cent.

Advertising revenue grew by four per cent for the year in the UK to £27.9m. First half advertising revenue was flat while second half advertising revenue grew by nine per cent.

The result led chief executive Stevie Spring to declare that after an exceptionally tough 2009 the company was ‘back on track”.

‘We’ve returned our US business to profit – a key goal for the year. And made good progress against our strategic priorities – adapting and investing in our business to meet the needs of a rapidly changing content landscape,’Spring said.

‘Consumer confidence is still fragile on both sides of the Atlantic, so our outlook for 2011 must remain cautious even though we’ve seen an encouraging five per cent growth in the second half of 2010.”

Future also reduced its net debt by more than 50 per cent to £7.4m in the period as it restored dividend to 2008 levels of to 1.1p per share.

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