Future considers "wider strategic options" for US business
Board wants radical solution to deal with failing US arm
Future Publishing has said it is considering "wider strategic options" for its US business as the company continues to struggle in the region.
Last July Future said it would push forward plans to transition the US into a digital business, but the company is now under pressure to adopt a more radical solution to its failing efforts.
"With trading conditions in the US reflecting ongoing weakness and decreasing visibility at newsstand, and an acceleration in the year-on-year growth rate in digital revenues, the board is now considering a wider range of strategic options in respect of its US operations," said the company in a trading statement.
Such a statement to the city usually suggests that a sale is being considered.
Sales for the twelve months to September 30 2011 are expected to be down 6 per cent on last year. Full year revenues for the UK, which accounts for more than 70 per cent of sales, are expected to be down 2 per cent.
The company has already begun downsizing its UK business, with headcount down 10 per cent since July.
"The position in the US is significantly more challenging," added the company, "reflecting a combination of a much smaller scale of business; the radically different business model applicable to US magazine publishing generally compared with the UK; limited portfolio protection with exposure to only three special-interest sectors; and a faster-declining print advertising market."
Future publishes Edge and official Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo magazines, as well as CVG and Games Radar online. A further update is expected with the release of preliminary full-year results on November 24.