Publisher Future (FUTR) gained 13.6% to £16.48, marking new record highs as it said it expected full-year adjusted operating profit to be 'materially ahead of current market expectations.'

The shares have now more than doubled from their coronavirus lows and trade materially higher than they did prior to the pandemic.

In August, organic unique visitors in the UK and US were up 25% and 40%, respectively compared to the prior year, the company said.

Future said it now anticipated cost synergies of £20 million a year by the end of fiscal 2021 from its 2019 acquisition of TI Media, ahead of earlier forecasts of £15 million per year.

WELL POSITIONED FOR ONLINE SHIFT

The company behind publications like TechRadar and Marie Claire UK may have seen a hit to the sales of physical magazines in 2020 but it was well positioned for a shift to consuming media online.

Future’s model is built on acquiring specialist titles cheaply and plugging them into its existing platform in order to generate revenue from their content and brands through a mix of digital advertising, e-commerce and getting readers to click through to partnered retailers and events.

Numis analyst Gareth Davies lifted his pre-tax profit and earnings per share forecasts for 2020 from £76.5 million and 62.5p respectively to £81.5 million and 66.6p, putting Future on a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.7 at the current share price.

He commented: ‘As outlined in the business update provided in July, the group continues to benefit from the trend in a shift to digital media. Cash conversion has remained strong, and the business is also de-levering quicker than expected.’

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Issue Date: 07 Sep 2020