Future plc, the international media group and leading digital publisher, has announced its Interim Management Statement for the period from 1 October 2012 to date, incorporating the Group’s first quarter for the three months ended 31 December 2012.
Trading Performance (Normalised*)
· Digital revenues up 24%
· Group revenues down 3% (UK down 1%)
· US continues on track for EBITDA** profitability in 2013
Normalised revenues in the first quarter were down 3%, driven mainly by the continuing managed decline of print activities in the US. The UK-based business performed solidly with normalised revenues down 1% year-on-year.
In the first quarter, digital revenues grew 24% year-on-year and now represent 23% of normalised revenues, compared with 18% for the first quarter of FY12. Digital advertising has grown to represent 54% of total advertising revenues, up from 45% a year ago. Normalised digital circulation revenues on iPads and other tablets have averaged quarterly growth of 16% over the last year, and we now have over 40 of our brands on Google Play’s new Magazine Shop, which launched in December.
In the US, digital advertising now represents 74% of total advertising revenues (from 64% a year ago), reflecting the faster acceleration from print to digital platforms. First quarter losses in the US were lower than in FY12, as planned, and we maintain our expectation of EBITDA profitability in the US business in FY13.
Active Portfolio Management
Our active portfolio management has continued with the closure of certain print brands (PSM3 and Xbox World in the UK, and Nintendo Power and PlayStation – The Official Magazine in the US), and the launch of new digital brands (Gathered by Mollie Makes, tech., Photography Week and Football Week) as well as a new print title, Simply Crochet, which was launched on 10 January 2013. We will continue to manage the portfolio as the transition from print to digital progresses.
Net debt at 31 December 2012 was £16.8m, a reduction of 6% year-on-year, as expected. We expect to announce a new credit facility within the first half of the current financial year.
We expect trading for the full year to be in line with our expectations. Print revenues remain challenging but we expect digital revenues to maintain a steady growth rate.
Mark Wood, Future’s Chief Executive, said: “We are pleased to have achieved steady growth in our digital revenues in the first quarter. We will continue to focus on generating new revenues from our large, global online audience of 50 million unique users. We now sell digital editions on all the major tablet platforms and, through content partnerships, we are able to enter new markets, as most recently demonstrated by our move into English Premier League Football with Football Week.”
- Future Plc preliminary results – earnings boosted by digital growth Posted on November 27, 2012
- Future sells its US Music division to New Bay Media for $3M Posted on January 13, 2012
- Future PLC’s CEO & FD resign Posted on October 27, 2011
- Future Publishing emerges as a contender for BBC Worldwide’s magazine division Posted on February 24, 2011