Future shares jump 40% as investors warm to restructuring

Ben Parfitt
Future shares jump 40% as investors warm to restructuring

The share price of Future has shot up by nearly 40 per cent so far today following the publication of the media giant's full year results.

After due consideration the directors have concluded that there is a reasonable expectation that the group has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future,” the company said.

In reaching their decision the directors have considered the uncertainty about the rate of decline in print and the ability to grow digital and diversified revenues and therefore the risk that trading performance will be below expectation leading to a covenant breach.”

For the year ending September revenue fell from 82.6m last year to 66m. Operating losses climbed from 3.4m to 10.3m. However, last year's 6.9 net debt has swung to a total of 7.5m in net cash.

Print revenue fell from 52.2m to 38.7m with digital falling from 30.4m to 27.3m.

By region, digital claims 63 per cent of UK revenue (up from 58 per cent) and 73 per cent of US revenue (up from 66 per cent). TechRadar, for instance, saw unique users grow by 27 per cent in the period.

24.8m was raised from the disposal of what Future describes as non-core business throughout the period and a rationalisation of its property portfolio”. Annual costs have been trimmed by 15m.

Future also says that next year will deliver on the advantages offered by its now lowered overheads. It also cites the disposal of the Monmouth Street site in Bath for 1.25m post year-end”, which adds to the closure of its London site earlier this year.

It says that new revenue streams are showing momentum”, with 57m unique monthly users and over 250k digital subscribers worldwide – a number that makes it the UK's top digital magazine publisher with a 16 per cent market share.

"We have now largely completed the transformation programme, which was initiated in June 2014, on time and according to plan. Our property portfolio has been rationalised, non-core businesses sold, our balance sheet strengthened and the cost base materially reduced,” chief executive Zillah Byng-Maddick added.

"The business is now stabilised, although as we continue to grow our newer revenue streams and transition from a print-led business to a digitally diversified content business, there remain some elements of uncertainty around the pace of decline in the print market.

"Over the last three months, we have seen encouraging growth in higher margin e-commerce activities. We have market leading positions in all our portfolios and are building good momentum to take into 2015.”

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