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Revenue fell across the board from the UK, US - 4%, 19% respectively / Image source: Adobe
  • Revenue falls 4% to £788.9 million
  • CFO to step down
  • Shares are down 58% year-to-date

Shares in Future Publishing (FUTR) fell over 25% to 564p as the publishing said that revenue for the year ending 30 September fell 4% to £788.9 million compared to £825.4 million in the same year ago period.

Revenue fell across the board with the UK down 4% and the US 19% lower.

The publishing firm blamed a ‘challenging advertising market’ for the 13% fall in revenue from its media business.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell said: ‘For a period, the company consistently beat expectations as it pursued a strategy based on buying up undervalued magazine titles and bringing them onto a centralised e-commerce and online publishing platform.

However, there have always been some doubts about the model with the group proving a victim of short-selling attacks in the past.

‘A wave of cost cuts is planned but the accompanying news of the departure of chief financial officer Penny Ladkin-Brand, after eight years at the business, will do little to reassure shareholders.’

Despite saying that magazine performance was resilient due to a higher proportion of subscriptions revenue was also down 5%.

Future includes brands such as TechRadar, PC Gamer, Marie Claire and Android Central.

Shares in the publishing firm are down 58% year-to-date.

POSSIBLE TAKEOVER TARGET

Shore Capital analyst Roddy Davidson remains upbeat but only from the viewpoint that publishing firm looks attractive for an ‘acquirer.’

Davidson said in a research note: ‘We would highlight the group’s long-standing focus on creating and leveraging high quality, authoritative content, and leading positions across specialist categories; consistent investment in technology; and its impressive international reach and ability to deliver highly engaged audiences to digital advertisers and ecommerce partners.

‘Future also has a positive record of complementing organic growth via identifying and successfully integrating acquisition activity (helped by its proprietary tech-stack) and could itself provide a ready-made platform for an acquirer.’

LEARN MORE ABOUT FUTURE PUBLISHING

DISCLAIMER: Financial services company AJ Bell referenced in this article owns Shares magazine. The author of this article (Sabuhi Gard) and the editor (Martin Gamble) own shares in AJ Bell.

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Issue Date: 07 Dec 2023