Future sees FY profits 'materially ahead' of expectations
Magazine publisher Future said on Wednesday that full-year profitability is set to be "materially ahead" of current market expectations amid a continued strong performance.
The company, which also owns GoCompare, said it has continued to perform "strongly" in the second half to date.
The performance of the media division has been led by robust digital advertising revenue and ongoing eCommerce product affiliate revenue growth, including Prime Day in June, it said. Meanwhile, the performance of the magazine segment has been in line with expectations, benefiting from soft comparators in the previous year.
Future said the integration of GoCo is progressing well and on track to achieve the announced £15m synergies, with trading at GoCo in line with expectations.
"As a result of the continued positive momentum, and despite the macro-economic uncertainties, the board expects full year profitability to be materially ahead of current market expectations," it said.
Chief executive officer Zillah Byng-Thorne said: "We are delighted that the group's strong performance has continued throughout the period, which is testament to the strength of our diversified revenue streams and global reach."
At 1155 BST, the shares were up 9.2% at 3,505.98p.
William Ryder, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "Everything seems to be going to plan at Future. Today’s trading update was short but sweet, summing up a better than expected performance, and full year profit forecasts have been raised. This is especially welcome because it follows another guidance upgrade back in May.
"Investors may be wondering whether a bigger dividend will be on the cards after such a strong year. This shouldn’t be ruled out, especially with the group talking up cash generation and synergies from the GoCo acquisition. However, the acquisition focussed growth strategy will still demand more investment, so any additional shareholder returns will likely be modest."
Broker Peel Hunt lifted its price target on Future shares to 3,600p from 3,300p after the update.
"Future continues to benefit from digital trends," it said. "There is also the potential of revenue synergies in the near term from GoCo as the company completes the integration." It maintained its 'buy' rating.