Tablets bring some relief to struggling Future as title sales for iPads soar

July 31, 2012

Digital revenue has shot up by 30% at Future, the Bath-based magazine and digital publishers, as consumers increasingly used their iPads and other tablets to read its products.

The group said today it sold more than 1.7m copies of its titles through Apple’s Newsstand since its launch last October.

However, the third-quarter rise in online revenues was not enough to stop total group sales easing by 4% to £87.9m for the period October 1 to today, Future said in an Interim Management Statement released this morning to the London Stock Exchange. UK revenues edged ahead by 1%.

Future, best known for its gaming, hobby and movie titles such as Total Film, Classic Rock and Official Xbox Magazine, said it had continued with its strategy of diversifying revenues in the US and during the period it launched US versions of two of its top digital platforms – TechRadar and BikeRadar.

TechRadar, the UK’s market-leading consumer technology website, now has 3.3m unique users a month in the US – up 228% year-on-year – while BikeRadar’s US user number soared 47% year-on-year.

Earlier this month Future was named Consumer Digital Publisher of the Year by the UK Association of Online Publishers in July – the only UK media business to win the accolade two years in succession.

Chief executive Mark Wood said trading conditions continued to be challenging and volatile.

“We take a cautious view,” he said. “However, as a result of the positive momentum on revenues and with cost savings coming through, we believe we are on track to deliver full year results in line with our expectations.”

He also highlighted good progress in its US operations and an improving US advertising environment which he said underpinned Future’s confidence in returning its US business to profit in the coming financial year.

“We have made further progress in transforming Future into a more digital business, building strong sales on tablets and building our online properties in the US,” he added. “The profile of Future is changing at a rapid pace, and we are excited by the prospects.”

Future’s shares were unchanged at 10.88p by mid-morning.


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