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Future shares jump as the magazine publisher reports strong first half earnings

Future's first half revenue and profit were boosted the acquisitions of Imagine Publishing and Team Rock

Future has been expanding its magazine portfolio

Magazine publisher Future plc (LON:FUTR) shares surged today as it posted a jump in first half profit and said it expects trading in the second half to be ahead of its expectations.

Shares shot 13.97% higher to 205.0p in morning trading.

The company -  whose magazines include PC Gamer, Techradar, Total Film, Guitarist - reported adjusted profit before tax in the six months to 31 March 2017 of £3.4mln, compared to £0.6mln the same period a year earlier.

Adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) rose to £4.8mln from £2.0mln.

Revenue increased to £40.9mln from £30.2mln, boosted by the acquisitions of Imagine Publishing and Team Rock.  Net debt was £5.2mln at 31 March, compared to net cash of £0.6mln the prior year, following the acquisitions.

Future purchased the magazines, events and websites of Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog, Blues and the Golden Gods from Team Rock for £800,000 in January.


Future grows portfolio with acqusitions....

Last June the group announced it was buying Imagine Publishing for £14.2mln. Imagine Publishing’s portfolio includes websites and magazines, such as All About History, Digital Photographer and World of Animals.

The acquisition of the business gave the group’s magazine division a lift in the first half with revenue rising 45%.

Future also achieved 23% increase in revenue in its media division, driven by a 72% surge in e-commerce revenue and a 15% increase in events revenue.

E-commerce saw an 18% increase in audience growth with strong revenue growth in websites including PcGamer.com, GamesRader and T3.com. The events portfolio was increased to 17 annual events following the acquisition of Team Rock.


Future's second half trading ahead of expectations...

Looking to the second half, Future sees trading “slightly ahead” of the board’s expectations.

Future added that the integration of Imagine Publishing has been completed and the full impact of synergies will be delivered in fiscal year 2018. The assets bought from Team Rock in January are trading in line with expectations.

“The group's cashflow performance has been strong, reducing net debt since the Imagine acquisition financing to £5.2mln at the end of the first half with positive cash flow from operations expected to continue in the second half of the year,” Future said.

Quick facts: Future PLC

Price: 1380 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £1.35 billion

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