Magazine and internet media group The Future Network saw its shares nosedive 40% yesterday after issuing its third profits warning in as many months.

The technology-oriented group announced that full-year underlying profits excluding investments would be £34 million, a significant drop from November’s forecast of nearly £40m.

The group blamed disappointing Q4 magazine sales and the cancellation of many ads from its Playstation 2 magazine following distribution problems with Sony’s new console.

“Estimating the expected results for the vital fourth quarter of 2000 is proving to be an extremely difficult task with trading conditions not reflecting their seasonal uplift,” commented chief executive Greg Ingham.

The news could cause a few red faces at investment bank Goldman Sachs, which yesterday tipped The Future Network in its list of small and mid-cap stocks to reach a share price of 400p in the coming year, or 600p if the group received no bad news.

Yesterday The Future Network’s stock stood at 85p.

News source: Financial Times