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Future sees digital progress

RESULTS: Games magazine publisher Future is making progress in growing digital revenues - the group has finally reached a settlement with the taxman, too

Improved consumer confidence, increased digital advertising revenue and cost-cutting helped digital and games magazine publisher, Future (FUTR), to return to profitability during its traditionally stronger second half. Add in exceptional income - from disposals and property provision movements - and operating profit more than doubled to £7.2m.

IC TIP: Hold at 16.8p

Digital revenue jumped 38 per cent - that generates 32 per cent of group sales - and 59 per cent of all advertising revenue is now digital. The group's overseas operations now accounts for more than 40 per cent of sales, too, and growth here is progressing well. For instance, US sales grew 6 per cent, while they jumped 23 per cent in Australia - boosted by the acquisition of two technology brands. Overall, Future has 14 websites and the group's digital reach grew 14 per cent to 58m unique users. Future also reached agreement with HMRC over an long-standing tax dispute - that will mean paying £6.2m, plus interest, through monthly instalments of £85,000 over five years. While the sale of the remaining Rock music magazines for £10.2m helped halve the debt pile.

Prior to these figures, broker Peel Hun was forecasting pre-tax profit of £5.7m for 2014, giving EPS of 1.1p (from 0.6p in 2013) - but these will likely change to reflect group accounting changes.

FUTURE (FUTR)

ORD PRICE:16.8pMARKET VALUE:£56m
TOUCH:16.5p-17.3p12-MONTH HIGH:21.8pLOW: 12.3p
DIVIDEND YIELD:1.2%PE RATIO:13
NET ASSET VALUE:20p*NET DEBT:10%

Year to 30 SepTurnover (£m)Pre-tax profit (£m)Earnings per share (p)Dividend per share (p)
20091533.700.900.90
20101525.601.701.10
2011142-18.0-5.900.50
20121241.100.10nil
20131125.801.300.20
% change-10+427+1200-

Ex-div: 12 Feb

Payment: 14 Mar

*Includes intangible assets of £90m, or 27p a share