Will the good news from the publishing market never end? Here’s Future stepping into the spotlight with their interim results (Future ‘cautiously optimistic’ from Press Gazette, you can download the whole thing here.)
As always the devil is in the detail. Take this, for example, from the figures on UK performance: “UK revenue for the half-year fell by 2%. Circulation revenue fell by 4% … subs revenue was up 9% and export grew 3%, which helped to offset the reduction of 9% in newsstand revenue in the period.” Even if cover prices haven’t risen over the past 12 months this would be a bit of washout, but factor in even a small amount of cover price inflation and you’re looking at the number of magazines sold falling quite considerably.
Or the fact that “UK advertising revenue was 1% down”. In this market, surely a great performance? But let’s dig a wee bit deeper. Apologies here because the next figures are for the group as a whole, not just the UK sector: overall advertising revenue rose from £24.9m to £25.3m. Deeper still, boys and girls, because this figure is the total of print and online ad revenues. Online grew from 15% of the total (i.e. £3.7m) to 19% (£4.8m) – Frazer’s abacus suggests that this means that print advertising has fallen by nearly £700,000 in actual terms, not factoring in inflation.
Future’s shares are down 7.6% on this morning’s opening, close to their 12 month low.