Future digital revenues up as print circulation ebbs

Games mag publisher's 15m debt down 28% year-on-year

Specialist magazine and online publisher Future plc has revealed that total revenues are down 2 per cent year-on-year over the last four months, but online advertising sales are increasingly offsetting a continued decline in print.

Group circulation revenues were down 6 per cent (4 per cent in UK, 12 per cent in the US) from the same period in 2009, but advertising was up 2 per cent.

The firm's interim management statement, covering October 2010 to the current time, stated that while print advertising revenues were down some 10 per cent, there had been a 25 per cent increase in digital advertising sales.

In total, digital now represents 32 per cent of the firm's advertising revenue.

Future's customer publishing revenues, meanwhile, were up 18 per cent in total - and some 62 per cent in the US.

Despite still owing its banks 14.6 million, the group "continues to be strongly cash generative," and has seen its net debt decrease 28 per cent from the previous year.

Future is now looking more to mobile and tablet digital publishing, having recently made more of its key brands, such as PC Gamer and Edge, available for purchase via Zinio. It has also released a number of Apps. However, it remains cautious about the "fragile" US and UK market.

Said Future Chief Executive Stevie Spring, "We expect the trading environment to remain challenging throughout 2011, but our progress online and in customer publishing - our main growth areas - and in our tablet and mobile development - is pleasing."

While the main growth came from Future's US arm, the UK still represents 70 per cent of its revenues.

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