Future looking up as revenue climbs 2%

Special interest magazine publisher Future recorded a year-on-year rise in revenue of two per cent in the three months to the end of June.

The publishing group said it was encouraged by a return to growth in its third quarter but that overall revenue in the first nine months of its financial year was down three per cent year-on-year.

Future said revenue had improved markedly over the first half of its financial year when it had been down five per cent year on year.

In the UK – which accounts for 70 per cent of group revenue – the company said advertising was improving strongly quarter by quarter but circulation remained soft.

‘Circulation weakness is driven primarily by games – 19 per cent of UK revenue – which continues to experience a tough market and difficult comparatives,’Future said in an interim management statement today.

‘Elsewhere in the portfolio, notably music, sports, technology and crafts, we’ve seen stronger performances.”

In the US – which accounts for the remaining 30 per cent of the company’s revenue – Future said it continued to make good progress towards returning to profitability.

‘Revenue for the nine months was down seven per cent, as expected, partly reflecting our stated strategy of publishing many fewer specials,’the company said.

Advertising and circulation revenue in the US remained challenging, Future said, while customer publishing revenue continued to show strong growth.

The company said it was now trading in line with market expectations, had reduced its net debt 32 per cent year on year to £16.1m and was trading within its banking covenants.

In May, Future reported that revenue was £71.4m in the half-year of its financial year, down from the £76.6m the company made in the same period the previous year.

It has since made a number of changes to its titles. Technology magazine T3 appointed a new editor in May who instigated a number of editorial changes.

Future’s biggest magazine, Total Film, then underwent a full revamp last month and launched a new paid-for iPhone application.

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