Digital continues to rise and offset print earnings decline
Future's interim financials saw UK revenue up one per cent, with digital playing an ever more significant role for the group.
Group digital revenue was up 37 per cent to £9.6million (from £7m), with digital advertising making up 44 per cent of total advertising. iPad sales passed £3million ($5m) gross since the launch of Apple's Newsstand, in October 2011.
Future's cycling portfolio includes the sites Bikeradar.com, cyclingnews.com and triradar.com, with mags including Cycling Plus, Mountain Biking UK, Procycling, Triathlon Plus and What Mountain Bike.
While UK revenue was up, group revenue fell four per cent. The UK business represents 80 per cent of the Future Group in revenue terms.
Meanwhile the US, where Future has significantly restructured, is on track to return to profitability in FY13, the group said. Overall the group said full year results were expected to hit targets.Article continues below
Future's statement paid tribute to the performance of the cycle market: "Whilst the Games sector has been tough as a result of the low levels of activity in hardware and software, the Active sector - which includes our Cycling and Craft activities - has continued to grow revenues and contribution. It also highlights the significant reduction in overheads achieved as a result of headcount reductions and property rationalisation."
Mark Wood, chief executive, commented: "After a period of restructuring and refocusing, we are now seeing Future begin to generate significant revenues from new digital products and activities. Group digital revenues increased by 37 per cent and in the UK digital growth offset the decline in print revenues. Our recovery plan for the US is on track and we will meet our commitment to return the US to profitability within the next 12 months.
"We are confident the momentum now building across the Group will ensure we meet our expectations for the full year.
"Future is seizing the opportunities offered by new platforms and channels to reach new audiences and grow a global digital business. On Apple's iPad, Future is one of the world's leading digital publishers in sales volumes and number of titles. That is a sign of how far we have come in a very short time."
Last month BikeBiz spoke to group publishing director Richard Schofield about CyclingNews HD's launch on Apple Newsstand.