Publisher defies gloomy backdrop for its wider industry
Thursday 23 Jul 2020 Author: Tom Sieber

Not too many businesses are currently guiding for their results to come in at the top end of expectations, indeed many are not providing any guidance at all, but media stock Future (FUTR) has bucked the trend.

A strong showing for its digital business through lockdown, progress on the integration of the recently acquired TI Media business, which brought in a number of publications including Marie Claire UK, and tight cost control helped contribute to the winning performance.

Having recovered most of the ground it lost in the initial coronavirus correction, the shares now trade on a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.6.

In theory the bleak outlook for much of the publishing sector should fit neatly with Future’s strategy of acquiring specialist titles cheaply and then monetising the content through an e-commerce and digital advertising platform.

The opportunities will have to be balanced against the need to preserve balance sheet strength as it continues to face into an uncertain backdrop. Berenberg forecasts the company to end the September 2020 financial year with net debt of £80 million.

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