Such is often the case with out-of-favour stocks the market chose to focus on the negative at media group Future (FUTR) despite this morning’s broadly in-line first-half numbers. The stock fell 5.9% to 16p on the news.
The £57 million cap’s games titles are suffering ahead of the launch of new games systems from Microsoft (MSFT:NDQ) and Sony (NSE:NYSE) resulting in these major advertisers and sponsors deferring advertising spend.
A 37% retreat in profits at the Entertainment division, including product-focused titles such as XBox, and PlayStation as named after Microsoft and Sony’s consoles, was behind the group-wide in-line £300,000 pre-tax loss.
The operating profit of £700,000 was short of house broker Numis’ expectation for £900,000 but the impact of this on the bottom line was offset by lower finance charges as net debt finished the half-year at a better-than-expected £16.7 million.
On the positive front, the company revealed that its troubled US operations are on track to move back into the black in the second half at the earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) level.
The company has also made further strides in moving from print to digital with digital advertising accounting for 57% of total first-half advertising sales, up from 47% in the initial six months of 2012.
The number of unique visitors to the company’s website, which include GamesRadar as the planet’s third biggest games information website, were up 46% year on year to 51.4 million a month, with page views running at 299 million per month.