Future's UK digital revenue grows

Digital counterbalances managed print decline for media firm
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Future has revealed that it is merging its UK and US businesses to create ‘a single product line’.

Future signalled the completion of restructuring in the UK – where around 100 jobs were cut, while restructuring in the US is set to continue.

Meanwhile, digital continued to perform well in the UK, with digital revenue growth up 36 per cent, offsetting managed decline in print revenues, Future said. In the US, significant losses were driven by print and measures are being taken to reduce the ‘scale of exposure’ and return the US to profitability by 2013.

For the year ended September 30th, Future launched over 100 digital titles for tablet devices and saw six million Apple Newsstand app downloads in the first month across its portfolio.

Future’s revenue was down six per cent (to £141.7m) in the period, while net debt increased 59 per cent (by £4.4m to £11.8m).

The firm recently saw its UK CEO Mark Wood replace US-based Stevie Spring as CEO of the firm.

"Given the decline in Group performance and profitability, the Board took action to remove corporate level cost and change the way the company is managed,” explained Future’s chairman Peter Allen. “We have installed as new Group CEO and Finance Director, two individuals with a proven track record of running an efficient business for Future in the UK and achieving rapid and profitable digital transformation."

Future’s chief exec Mark Wood added: "Building on the digital success in the UK, we have taken steps to reorganise the company, merge UK and US operations and create a single global product line. These changes will enable us to operate more efficiently and return the US business to profitability. The changes will also mean that we can accelerate our transition to a digital business model and start to sell our entire range of digital content to high-value audiences in the US and other key markets.

"Digital channels such as the Apple iPad are rapidly opening up new routes to markets in which our niche products can quickly build a loyal following. Future's success on the Apple Newsstand, with more than six million downloads of our apps in a month, has demonstrated our ability to develop and deliver digital products at high speed, and underlines the global appeal of content ranging from Cycling, Games and Technology to Music, Film and Crafts. So, as a result, we look forward to the year ahead with confidence.”

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