Earnings: Future Web Growth Slows In ’08, Print Ad Sales Holding Up

imageFuture Publishing (LSE: FUTR) saw online sales rise 36 percent in the year to September 30 – but that’s now slower growth than the 50 percent hike it posted last year. Still, the magazine publisher said it “more than offset” a two percent dip in print ad sales, which remains its core business while online makes up 19 percent of sales.

Future’s websites doubled year-on-year traffic to 18 million monthly uniques. Future is still due to add user-voted news aggregators to its site after buying US Digg/Reddit clone BallHype in July.

Overall, Future did better than might have been expected, with three percent better profits of £9.5 million on two percent higher income of £162.9 million. CEO Stevie Spring said the company “bucked the trend” with a lean operating structure and a healthy balance sheet. She said October-to-December ad bookings are already 95 percent those reached in the same period last year – but we’ll be watching for signs of the downturn as 2009 gets underway. Release.

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