A ‘pre-close trading update‘ from Future provides a few interesting snippets, amongst which are:
- revenues expected to be 6% down year on year
- UK revenue expected to be 2% down
- £3.5million cash cost of axing 10% of workforce
- £1.4 million provision for having empty offices because they’ve axed 10% of workforce
A possible significant paragraph is in the middle of the release:
In July the Group announced steps to accelerate the transition of Future US into a primarily digital business. However, with trading conditions in the US reflecting ongoing weakness and decreasing visibility at newsstand, and an acceleration in the year-on-year growth rate in digital revenues, the Board is now considering a wider range of strategic options in respect of its US operations.
Does this mean that Future are considering either a) closing all magazines immediately (perhaps operating websites with a skeleton US staff and UK feeds) or even b) flogging off the whole operation to a
mug punter US publisher.
Look at the first two points from Future’s statement again – overall revenue down 6%, UK down 2%. The UK is 70% of Future’s business, so if Private Frazer’s abacus is correct, that means that US revenues are down 15% or more on last year – a significant deterioration in their trading performance.
The first of Future’s recalibrations has been announced and, no big surprise, the keys to the ignition have been taken away from Redline magazine.
The wonder is why Future kept this clapped out old banger going for so long – the title could not even sell 10,000 copies an issue.
More to follow.
New Statesman have decided that charity doesn’t begin at home and have axed Charity Insight, the controlled circulation, advertising-supported (I know, I know) title they launched just last October.
The editor writes:
As many of you know – or have heard on the grapevine – Charity Insight is to close. … the current economic climate combined with the company re-focusing its direction within other areas of the business means … the issue that is due to land on your desks any day now will be the last one.
Hat tip to John for this news.
FT publications have handed over the gold clock to Pensions Management magazine, shutting it down after 25 years.
Private Frazer will be circulating a card for you all to sign. “Sorry to hear you’re leaving. Enjoy your retirement.”
After the stirring success of the X Factor magazine, Tesco have further burnished their magazine selling credentials with the closure of three titles that had been produced exclusively for the grocer.
Food, Home and TV week were launched last October and at the time their magazine buyer, Charles Hunt, commented, “Our aim is to increase the magazine offering to Tesco shoppers by ranging unique titles that they simply cannot buy elsewhere. We hope this will encourage more shoppers to buy their newspapers and magazines at Tesco, resulting in increased sales for the category as a whole.”
Charles Hunt is no longer at Tesco’s.
“The TES is changing“, say the ads, “more inspirational, more professional, more extraordinary.”
But significantly less Welsh, as TSL Supplements bid a quiet bydd wych to TES Cymru which will cease publication with the current issue.
Contract publishers Faragher Jones has gone into administration according to this email sent out today:
It is with great regret that the board and directors of Faragher Jones Ltd has taken the decision to cease trading as of today, 1st September 2011. Despite our best efforts we have been defeated by a combination of bad debts and the difficult economic climate. The decision has been made after we received notification that our major debtor, We Love Darts Ltd, would not be able to repay any of the substantial amounts of money it owed to us.
The future of the (recently acquired) Calcio Italia and Darts Monthly magazines would not appear to be rosy. Game on!