MCV reports that Future Publishing has hinted in its latest pre-close trading update that the sales of its U.S. operations are a possibility, even as the company shifts towards a digital model for moving its various game-related magazines. The company also predicted a six percent drop in its total revenue for the fiscal year ending September 30, with the UK operations expected to post a two percent drop.
The company describes the climate the U.S. operations is in currently as "significantly more challenging," and notes that it reflects a "much smaller scale of business."
"It reflects a combination of a much smaller scale of business; the radically different business model applicable to US magazine publishing generally compared with the UK; limited portfolio protection with exposure to only three special-interest sectors; and a faster-declining print advertising market.
In July the Group announced steps to accelerate the transition of Future US into a primarily digital business.
However, with trading conditions in the US reflecting ongoing weakness and decreasing visibility at newsstand, and an acceleration in the year-on-year growth rate in digital revenues, the Board is now considering a wider range of strategic options in respect of its US operations."
The company owns and operates a number of publications including Edge, Nintendo Power, Official Xbox Magazine, Playstation: The Official Magazine, PC Gamer, @Gamer, and the recently eliminated World of Warcraft: The Official Magazine. The company also owns websites such as GamesRadar, OXM Online, N4G, C&VG, PCGamer, and publishes Qore on Sony's PlayStation Network for PS3.
On September 27 the company announced the launch of PC Gamer Digital, a downloadable version of the popular PC games-focused magazine. It's currently available on Steam for $1.99 and will be a weekly publication.