Future reports pre-tax losses of £18m

Magazine publisher Future has reported a pre-tax loss of £18m in the last financial year largely caused by a poor performance in its US division.

Revenue at the company, which publishes Metal Hammer and Total Film, was down 6 per cent to £141.7m to the year ending 30 September and adjusted pre-tax profit slumped 39 per cent to £5.1m.

Revenue in the UK – which accounts for more than two-thirds of total income – was down 2 per cent but in the US it fell 16 per cent to £38.8m, resulting in losses of £3.6m.

Group print revenue, which accounts for 80 per cent of turnover, fell from £127.5m in 2010 to £113.4m.

There was better news in its digital division where revenue was up 31 per cent to £16.2m, but digital accounts for just 11 per cent of its total group revenue.

In October chief executive Stevie Spring was replaced by the head of Future UK Mark Wood.

Chairman Peter Allan admitted the results were ‘disappointing’but insisted the company had taken ‘decisive’action by appointing a new chief executive and finance director to ‘eliminate significant cost and to take the business in a new direction”.

‘This disappointing performance was caused mainly by sharply reduced print copy and advertising sales in the US,’said Allan.

Wood said the company was now taking steps to return the US business to profitability and said that it was accelerating its ‘transition to a digital business model’

‘Digital channels such as the Apple iPad are rapidly opening up new routes to markets in which our niche products can quickly build a loyal following,’he said.

‘Future’s success on the Apple Newsstand, with more than six million downloads of our apps in a month, has demonstrated our ability to develop and deliver digital products at high speed, and underlines the global appeal of content ranging from cycling, games and technology to music, film and crafts,’

‘So, as a result, we look forward to the year ahead with confidence.”

Operating costs were reduced by £4.5m thanks to a restructuring that saw 10 per cent of its 1,000-strong workforce axed.

The company also announced that it will not be paying a dividend until 2013 after it increased its bank loans from £7.4m to £11.8m.

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