StockMarketWire.com - Media group Future said trading since October has been in line with expectations, with group digital revenues up 41%, offsetting print declines.

Overall Group revenues were down 7% but offset by cost savings. The UK - which now represents 75% of Group revenue - was down 2%.

UK digital revenue growth offset a decline in print revenues.

Future said the US is on track for profitability in 2013.

In the first quarter, Group digital revenues grew 41% and were 17% of overall Group revenues, compared with 11% for the year ended 30 September 2011. As expected, total Group revenues in the quarter were down 7%, driven chiefly by the decline of print revenues in the US.

In the UK, which now represents 75% of the business, revenues declined by 2% − chiefly as a result of the loss of a customer publishing contract. Digital circulation and advertising revenues grew by 51% and offset net declines in print-related revenues. This is an important milestone in the evolution of the business.

In the US, revenues were down 20%, as anticipated. The fall was largely the result of year-on-year reductions in print revenues and the managed closure of titles. The programme of cost reductions offset the impact of this decline. Digital revenues in the US were up 24% and digital advertising made up 45% of all advertising revenues.

Future completed the sale of the US Music titles, in January, for a consideration of up to $3m. This and other cost efficiencies keep it on track to return the US business to profitability by 2013.

Central Costs are below the prior year as a result of the changes in the Executive team announced in October.

Net debt at 31st December 2011 is in line with expectations at £17.9m, an increase of 23% year-on-year, but does not include the impact of the net proceeds from the sale of the US Music titles.

Future expects trading to remain in line with market expectations. Print sales will be challenging, but it expects digital revenue to maintain a vigorous growth rate.

Mark Wood, CEO, said: "The new management team is delivering fast digital growth and restructuring our US business in line with the strategy outlined in November. We are pleased that cost-saving initiatives have fully offset the anticipated reduction in revenues.

"We are starting to see a significant change in the shape of the business as our digital innovation enables us to reach entirely new consumers in global digital markets. The period has confirmed Future's position as a recognised leader in the transition to digital publishing."




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