Bath publisher sees profits fall by 24 per cent in first half of the year


Profits fell by almost a quarter at Bath publishing firm Future over the last six months.

The company which specialises in niche magazines said revenues fell by three per cent to of £391.5m during the period.

Revenues were impacted by a modest two per cent organic decline combined with adverse foreign exchange rates.

The fall in revenues was offset by the impact of acquisitions and disposals.

The group returned to year-on-year revenue growth in the second quarter of the year with organic  growth of three per cent.

UK revenue grew by three per cent on an organic basis with very strong growth in price comparison (Go.Compare), up by just under a third, with good growth in B2B.

As anticipated, other media performance (digital advertising, affiliate products, events), was impacted by market conditions and was down nine per cent.

US revenue fell by 11 per cent on an organic basis, with an improving trend in the second quarter.

Digital advertising returned to organic year-on-year growth in the second quarter, notably across direct to client sales, whilst affiliate products continued to be impacted by weak consumer sentiment.

Profitability was mainly affected by an adverse revenue mix and investment from the previously announced Growth Acceleration Strategy, resulting in an adjusted operating profit decline of 19 per cent to £105.8m.

Statutory operating profit was down 24 per cent to £63.7m.

Jon Steinberg, Future’s chief executive, said: “In December we set out plans to ensure that Future is best positioned to capitalise on opportunities in our markets.

“These plans are centred on growing a highly engaged audience, diversifying and increasing Revenue Per User and optimising our portfolio. I’m pleased to report that in the early stages of this two-year plan we have made good progress, which will enable us to drive accelerating revenue growth.

“Overall trading in the first-half was in line with our expectations. Whilst the market environment remains challenging, we are encouraged by a return to organic revenue growth in the second quarter, progress which has continued into quarter three.

“Our focus for the balance of the year is on continued implementation of the Growth Acceleration Strategy, with a particular focus on optimising the portfolio and accelerating value creation for shareholders.”