Digital rises again for Future

While group revenue has dipped slightly, digital revenue and advertising continues to grow for the publisher of BikeRadar, Cycling Plus, et al
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Future's digital business has had another strong quarter, according to the media company's latest results.

Future's Interim Management Statement, covering the three months up for Dec 31st 2012, saw digital revenues up 24 per cent. However the bigger picture saw group revenue down three per cent (down one per cent in the UK).

While the group revenue fall was largely down to declining print activity in the US, the North American side of the business is on track to return to profitability this year, the firm added.

Future recently appointed Andy Rice as head of sport, outdoor and auto.

The Q1 results have underlined, again, how digital is increasingly important for Future's business, now representing 23 per cent of normalised revenues, compared with 18 per cent for the first quarter of FY12. Digital advertising has grown to represent 54 per cent of total advertising revenues, up from 45 per cent a year ago. Normalised digital circulation revenues on iPads and other tablets have averaged quarterly growth of 16 per cent over the last year, and Future now has over 40 brands on Google Play's new Magazine Shop, which launched in December.

In the US, digital advertising now represents 74 per cent of total advertising revenues (from 64 per cent a year ago).

Looking ahead, Future said it sees steady future growth for digital revenues.

"We are pleased to have achieved steady growth in our digital revenues in the first quarter," said chief exec Mark Wood. "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."

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