Future remains upbeat despite falling earnings

HOBBY magazine publisher Future said yesterday that underlying profit was flat for the first half and that it was still on track to meet its full-year expectations, but pre-tax profit fell.<br /><br />The group&rsquo;s earnings were flat at &pound;4.6m, but were taken lower by exceptional items of &pound;2.4m relating to a provision against slower payment times and a dispute among wholesalers and distributors in the US.<br /><br />The publisher of official magazines for the Sony Playstation, Nintendo and Microsoft Xbox was also hit by a decline in US advertising revenue.<br /><br />&ldquo;While our outlook for the second half must remain cautious, we are still on course to meet expectations for the full year,&rdquo; chief executive Stevie Spring said, adding that this was &ldquo;no mean feat&rdquo; in the current environment.<br /><br />Spring said the company expected to offset the shortfalls in its US business through cost savings, including job cuts.