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Future Lowers Expectations On Weakening Mag Market

British-headquartered game-related magazine and website firm Future plc has announced that it has lowered profit expectations for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2006...
British-headquartered game-related magazine and website firm Future plc has announced that it has lowered profit expectations for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2006, citing both advertising and newsstand weakness as the reasoning behind the revised outlook. The news comes on the heels of a UK-specific report from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) figures that indicated an overall numerical decline in the once thriving British video game magazine market, in the face of increased competition from online sources. Future, which is the dominant magazine publisher in the UK, and has been attempting a rapid expansion into the online market with its GamesRadar property, published a loss before tax of £12.1 million ($22.6m) for the six months ended March 31. The publisher now expects profit for its fiscal year to be nearly £3.5 million ($6.6 million) below current market expectations. The company, which also publishes a range of other non-game print magazines, holds the licenses to official Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft magazines in the UK, and also owns U.S. print properties such as Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer, and PSM and websites Next-Gen and GamesRadar through its Future Network subsidiary. However, Future remains extremely heavily leveraged in declining print publishing and advertising market. The company, which recently announced Stevie Spring as its newly-appointed CEO in the wake of Greg Ingham's departure from the role in June, commented that the future trading outlook "remains challenging," and that more details concerning Future plc's strategy will be announced on November 28 alongside its yearly earnings.

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