Former Clear Channel boss Spring to take over at Future
LONDON - Magazine publisher Future has named Stevie Spring, the former Clear Channel chief executive, as its new CEO as it reveals a loss of £12.1m for the six months ending March 31.
She takes over from Greg Ingham. He has overseen an aggressive expansion campaign at the Bath-based publishing company, including a stated target to double in size by 2008, but Future said today that it had decided to scale back its "ambitious policy" and focus on organic growth and operational effectiveness.
Shares in Future plummeted by over 13% when the stock market opened this morning, before recovering some ground. At the time of writing, Future's shares stood at 38.25p, a fall of 13.1% or 5.75p.
Investors were reacting to Future's interim results, where it reported a £12.1m loss, compared with reported profit before tax for the same period last year of £11.1m, and a depressed outlook for 2006 and 2007.
Future pointed to its earnings before interest, taxation, amortisation and exceptional items figure of £6.3m, saying it was a truer reflection of its performance, but this was still less than half the figure it reported in 2005.
The company blamed the shortfall in profits on the performance of its games titles, which include Official PlayStation2 Magazine, Official Nintendo Magazine and Xbox 360. Turnover was up from £104.3m in 2005 to £114.7m, a rise of 10%. It reported impairment of non-tangible assets of £11m.
Roger Parry, chairman of Future, said: "The continued tight management of our business is our number-one priority. Our efforts are focused on maximising the potential from our existing portfolio and strengthening our online presence."
He said that although Future expected its EBITAE figure to improve in the second half of the financial year, investment in a programme to encourage organic growth would depress reported profits below existing expectations.
Spring will take over from Greg Ingham starting from July 3. She was chief executive of the outdoor media company Clear Channel for six years, and also spent 16 years working in advertising for agencies including Young & Rubicam and Grey.
Ingham is leaving Future after 18 years, eight of which he spent as CEO, and said he wished to do something different. He departs the company today.
Future's magazines include Metal Hammer, Total Film and the gadget magazine T3.
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