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£3.5m losses grow to £59.3m

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Bath-based publisher Future Network has reported pre-tax losses of £59.3m for the year 2000, up from just £3.5m in 1999.

The company was hammered by a slump in computer games magazine market and a downturn in online and new media advertising. It forecasts hefty losses for the first half of 2001.

In February, Future announced its plans to slash 350 jobs and close 20 magazines. The axed titles accounted for £18 million in turnover and losses of £14.7 million in 2000.

Future's big plan to sort out its finances is to sell Internet business mag Business 2.0. Future says the titles revenues were up 341% in 2000 from 1999, but Q4 had been very tough.

The large percentage growth suggests sales haven't been very high at all, and the downturn in new media advertising will have been a good hard kick in the nads for the magazine. Circulation of the twice monthly grew to 350,000.

The company had sales of £254 million in 2000, up 28.6 per cent on 1999's £197.5 million. Future is still dependent on the fortunes of games market, currently in the doldrums because of the late arrival of Sony's PS2 - 35 per cent of its revenues still come from that sector. ®

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