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Future reports marginal growth for 2008

But share price plummets to new low; market capitalisation just over £30 million

Future plc has reported its financial results for 2008 with revenue up 2 per cent and pre-tax profit up 3 per cent over last year, while net debt has been reduced.

But that news was tempered by the company's share price falling to its lowest ever level by yesterday's close of trading, finishing at 9.5 pence per share - a market capitalisation of around GBP 31 million.

Revenue was up from GBP 159.2 million last year to 162.9 million by the end of September this year, while pre-tax profit was GBP 9.5 million compared to GBP 9.2 million in 2007. Net debt was reduced from GBP 24.3 million to GBP 21.9 million.

Additionally circulation revenue increased by 2 per cent, and online revenue was up 36 per cent following new site launches, while overall advertising was up 3 per cent year-on-year.

"Future bucked the trend in 2008. We made real progress," said CEO Stevie Spring. "Our special-interest focus, healthy balance sheet, lean operating structure and strong cash generation are all ingredients that have helped us to weather the storm to date. And it is these strengths which give me confidence that Future will continue to make progress.

"During 2009 we will invest appropriately within the context of a cautious view of the economic backdrop. Thanks to the measures we set in place over the last two years, the robustness of our strategy and our proven cost flexibility we are confident that the business is in the best shape it can be to deal with whatever challenges lie ahead.

"And, with our first quarter advertising revenue bookings (for October to December) already running at 95 per cent of 2007 actuals, we are pleased to report that our new financial year has begun satisfactorily."

At the time of writing the company's share price had lifted by 0.5 pence to 10 pence.