Eanings: Future Profitable After 66 Percent Online Ad Gain; Will Accelerate Online Investment

Magazine publisher Future Publishing says it will accelerate online investment this year after online ad sales grew by two thirds. Interim results for H1 ending March 31 show the company saw revenue drop 11 percent to £95.3 million. But an £8.6 million pre-tax profit is encouragement following the earlier £49 million loss during 2006.

Online ad revenue helped the turnaround, growing 66 percent in the U.K. and U.S. business, ahead of expectations, to represent 13 percent of company ad revenue (up from six percent last year). Meanwhile, games news site Gamesradar.com saw year-on-year revenue grow 102 percent; revenue at U.S. games websites now accounts for 26 percent of all advertising revenue from Future US’ game-related offerings. The online advertising growth offset soft revenue from its core games and computing magazines as well as in car titles.

CEO Stevie Spring: “With our key online hires now in place, the second half will see the bulk of our planned online investment, some of which had originally been expected in the first half. To drive our online development, we have made four new online senior management hires and have also appointed a new chief technology officer for the group. With our new online management team now in place, we will increase our online investment in the second half, including some investment that had originally been expected to be incurred in the first half.”

Director: Separately (but clearly related to driving online ad growth), Future said Seb Bishop, president of online ad network Miva (Espotting and FindWhat combined), would join as an independent non-executive director effectiveThursday, saying his “internet business experience and Anglo-American focus are a perfect fit for our new strategy”. Release.

Earnings release | Financials