Future revenues down, but UK arm resilient

Future plc has posted a profit of £2.8m for the year ending 30 September, 2009.

Though this was down on the previous year’s £6.8m, the company said the performance was “remarkably resilient”.

This was most evident in the UK arm of the company, which comprises 69% of group revenue. Revenue fell 8% in the UK, compared to 22% in the US.

Chief executive Stevie Spring says the year has been a “tale of two markets”.

“Our larger UK business out-performed the market, increasing profits despite a relatively modest revenue decline,” she explains. “The scale, intensity and complexity of the challenges of 2009 were unprecedented. Our performance was remarkably resilient – testament to the strength of our special-interest business and our clear operational focus.”

Spring says there were weaker comparative perfomances in games and personal computing, but this was offset by the stronger performances in digital creative, consumer technology and across the company’s Music & Movies group.

Cycling and crafts titles also did well with Future introducing two new titles: Triathlon Plus and The Knitter.

Future’s biggest titles T3, Classic Rock and Total Film all recorded increases in circulation. Subscription renewal rates were also maintained, in spite of the average cover price for the group’s magazines rising to over £5.

Spring says trading for the new financial has “continued to be challenging both in the UK and US, and she expects conditions to remain “difficult” in the New Year, adding that the company is “taking a cautious view”.

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