Shares in publisher Future jump on audience growth and US expansion

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Shares in The Week and Country Life publisher Future jump on audience growth and expansion in US market

  • Group sees ‘positive momentum in trading with audiences back to growth’ 
  • It also completed acquisition of US women’s lifestyle publisher Who What Wear
  • FTSE 250-listed Future shares rose 7% to £16.61 in morning trading on Friday

Shares in Future, the publisher behind The Week and Country Life, shot up on Friday after the group confirmed it was on track to hit its full-year targets. 

The company also announced it has completed its acquisition of US digital women’s lifestyle publisher Who What Wear. 

The deal is its third in the past year and will give it ‘greater scale and reach in North America’, Future said.

Upbeat: Future said audience growth has returned in the second half of the year

FTSE 250-listed Future shares rose 7 per cent to £16.61 in morning trading on Friday. 

However, the stock has fallen by more than 56 per cent since the start of the year and is 44 per cent lower than a year ago.

The group, which also owns TechRadar and football magazine FourFourTwo, said audience growth had returned in the second half of the year. 

‘The encouraging start to the second half has continued, supported by the anticipated return to audience growth as Covid comparators were fully lapped and the resilience in our diversified business model,’ it said in a short trading update. 

Future has been on a acquisition spree in the past couple of years. 

It purchased GoCo Group, the owner of price comparison website Go Compare, for £594million in 2020, and Dennis Publishing, the owner of The Week and MoneyWeek, in August 2021 for £300million

It also bought Mozo, an Australian price comparison website that focuses on selling financial products like loans and bank accounts, for £17million.

And it snapped up TI Media – which publishes 40 titles including Horse & Hound, Woman & Home and Wallpaper – in a a £140million deal.

Zillah Byng-Thorne, chief executive of Future, said the acquisition of Who What Wear enhances the firm’s ‘leadership position in the Women’s vertical, and delivers further scale and reach in North America’ as they look to reach one in two users in the US. 

‘We continue to see positive momentum in trading with audiences back to growth,’ she added.

‘We remain confident our diversified strategy will continue to deliver and remain on track for another strong full-year of profitable growth.’

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