Bath media group Future warns its financial turnaround is still some way off

July 16, 2014

Shares in troubled Bath publisher Future fell this week after it admitted its major restructuring and job cuts would not turn around its finances until at least its next financial year.

In an interim management statement released to the London Stock Exchange, it said it was making “good progress” with its transformation programme, which is on track to axe 170 UK jobs on top of 40 already shed in the US.

Future, whose print titles range from Total Film to Xbox: The Official Magazine and websites such as, said the job cuts and other savings are expected to reduce its cost base by £6m in its next financial year, which starts on October 1.

In May it announced it had agreed to sell its sport and craft print and digital publications to Bristol-based rival Immediate Media for up to £24m. The deal will involve around 130 Bath-based Future staff transferring to Immediate. Further job losses among its 900 staff could also occur.

In Wednesday’s statement, which incorporated its results for the three months to June 30, it said: “In the near term, trading continues to be challenging, with minimal forward visibility. The business does not foresee a change in the financial performance this financial year with the impact of the transformation programme not expected to be material until 2015.

The expected slowdown in print copy sales continued during the three months althoughe normalised digital and diversified revenues rose 10% year on year.

However, there were further problems in the US where a major print magazine distributor filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, resulting in an exceptional charge for Future of £1.5m, largely arising from bad debts.

While group net debt at June 30 stood at £14.2m, the board expects funds received from the disposal of the titles to Immediate to help put Future back into a net cash position at the year end.

A new revised facility of up to £12m had also been agreed with its banks until December 31, 2015. 

Chief executive Zillah Byng-Maddick said: “We have taken the necessary action to strengthen the balance sheet and secured new debt facilities to enable the business to be fundamentally restructured. As a result, the group is now in a much more stable position.

“We are making good progress – in line with our original plans – but organisational change of this scale takes time.  Against a backdrop of a difficult trading environment, we don’t expect to see any material uplift in our financial performance until the next financial year.”

Future's shares closed today at 7.75p, a fall of 7.74% or 0.65p on Wednesday after it released the interim management statement. Shares also fell yesterday.



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