Future to resume dividends after "strong" quarter
By Shadi Bushra
LONDON Oct 16 (Reuters) - British magazine publisher Future PLC will resume dividends following a strong fourth quarter that brought advertisers back to its publications, it said on Wednesday.
Forward advertising bookings for the first quarter of the next financial year, beginning Oct. 1, are up 30 percent from the same period last year, Future said.
"The Board remains committed to resuming dividends, suspended in 2011, with a final dividend for the year ended 30 September 2013," a statement said.
Future's share price was up 7 percent at 13.45 pence at 0735 GMT.
Future, which publishes print and digital magazines on technology, sports, music and cars, struggled in 2011 when a sharp fall in advertising sales in the United States depressed profits, dragged its shares down and prompted the dividend suspension.
The company has embarked on a cost-cutting programme that resulted in a sale of its U.S. music magazines in January 2012 for $3 million and its British music magazines in April 2013 for 10.2 million pounds ($16.29 million).
In 2012 the publisher - which owns consumer technology site TechRadar and magazine "T3" and publishes the official magazines of the three major video game consoles - posted a 26 percent increase in operating profit to 6.8 million pounds, with a growing online audience balancing out dwindling print revenues.
The statement on Wednesday said that Future, which recently said Chief Executive Graham Harding would leave after year-end results are released in November, would continue to pursue savings to improve operating margins.