Publishing company, Future Plc, said on Friday that it's pre-tax profit for the half year ended 31 March 2008 increased 17 per cent.

The company said that revenue from advertising had increased four per cent in the half year. Online advertising grew by 31 per cent and now represents around 19 per cent of total advertising revenue, Future said.

Future said that revenue on the top 15 UK titles was up 10 per cent and that US circulation was up 12 per cent.

The company said that its costs were in line with its budget and that net debt since March 2007 had been cut by 14 per cent to 25.1 million.

Stevie Spring, chief executive, said, Our strategy remains firmly on track, and we have made good progress during the first half.

Our numbers are in line with expectations. Encouragingly, Future is proving resilient in these tough times because our consumers are passionate and committed. They invest in us, they spend time with us and they are loyal.

He continued, Although we continue to take a cautious view of our markets, we expect a satisfactory outturn for the full year.