Future hit by US downturn

Future, the special interest media group, has seen a drop in its pre-tax profit in the six months to March 31, despite posting a profit rise in the UK.

The publisher of titles such as Total Film, T3 and Fast Car, reported a pre-tax profit of £1.2m during the six-month period, compared to the £4.1m it posted in the six months to March 2008.

While the company has been hit by the economic conditions in the US, it saw profit rise by 3% in the UK.

Group ad revenue fell 3% to £24.5m, but online advertising managed to stay steady with an 18% rise, compared to 19% in the previous corresponding period. Online advertising now accounts for 24% of its ad revenue.

It launched three new magazines: The Knitter, Triathalon Plus and Guitar Aficionado. Its increased investment saw its gross digital spend rise 24%.

Chief executive Stevie Spring says: “Our focus in the first half has been on navigating through some exceptionally tough market conditions, especially in the US.

“Stripping out our prudent receivables provision and the exceptional US newsstand disruption, EBITA for the half is broadly flat: a good performance in a turbulent media sector.”

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