Publishing firm Future (FUTR) dipped 0.3% to £18.54 as it posted a brief trading update alongside its AGM and confirmed it was closing on completion for its acquisition of the Go Compare comparison site owner Goco (GOCO).

The company said one in three people in the UK and US read its content in 2020 thanks to a mix of underlying growth in audience engagement and the increased consumption of digital content during the pandemic.

‘This growth in audience has helped lead to another exceptional year of results,’ the company added.

Future also revealed its acquisition of GoCo received overwhelming support from both sets of shareholders and merely remains subject to the last few formalities before completing by the end of February.

This acquisition of GoCo has been met with some investor scepticism and Future’s share price has stalled since it was announced in November 2020.

It marked something of a departure from its traditional approach of buying cheap magazine assets and incorporating them into a central platform to generate revenue from their content and brands through a mix of digital advertising, e-commerce and click-throughs to partnered retailers and events.

Shore Capital analyst Roddy Davidson commented: ‘We believe  Future’s investment in content and technology, broad portfolio of specialist B2C brands and collaborative culture mean that it is well placed to: (a) drive strong growth in digital advertising and e-commerce revenues and (b) capitalise on a Covid-driven acceleration in the evolution of consumer preferences.

‘We also see attractive potential in overseas markets, with the group’s substantial digital presence and scalable infrastructure in the US / bridgehead in other territories and the fact that many of the segments it serves are very large and international in nature both key positives in this regard.’

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Issue Date: 10 Feb 2021