May 22, 2017 Last Updated 9:11 am

Future reports higher revenue and income due to acquisitions

Addition of Imagine Publishing and Team Rock help drive Q2 results, but the cost of growth through add-ons won’t be paid for without organic growth or cost cuts, of course

The headline on most reports abut Future plc’s Q2 earnings will be that the magazine company’s revenue dramatically increased, and that it reported a big jump in operating profits. Those results were driven by acquisitions of Imagine Publishing and Team Rock, so the balancing act that will now ensue will be between driving profits that will be needed to pay for the cost of those deals (though the cost of the Team Rock deal had to be minimal as that company was to be shuttered).

So, I guess I get a little cautious about proclaiming that things are well at Future plc, but at least they will be able to crow about this report.

And, as you will see below, there was growth elsewhere, beyond the adding a few ad pages by adding titles, as both events and e-commerce revenue rose.

Here is the Future plc earnings report for the the six months ending on March 31:

LONDON, UK — May 19, 2017 — Future plc, the global platform for specialist media, today publishes results for the six months ended 31 March 2017.

Financial highlights

  • Group revenue increased 35% to £40.9m (2016: £30.2m)
    • Media division revenue up 23% to £16.2m (2016: £13.2m)
      • E-commerce revenues increased 72% year-on-year to £4.3mo
      • Revenue from events portfolio grew 15% year-on-year to £3.0m
    • Magazine division revenue up 45% to £24.7m (2016: £17.0m), driven by the acquisition of Imagine Publishing and strong UK performance in subscriptions
    • Recurring revenue streams now represent 27% (2016: 25%) of total revenue
  • Adjusted operating profit increased by 375% to £3.8m (2016: £0.8m), more than the £2.8m achieved in the full year FY16
  • Adjusted EBITDA* increased by 140% to £4.8m (2016: £2.0m), reflecting margin expansion and Media division revenue growth
  • Statutory profit before tax increased significantly to £0.9m (2016: £0.3m loss)
  • Adjusted EPS up significantly to 9.3p (2016: 2.5p)
  • Strong cash flow performance
    • Adjusted operating cash inflow of £6.2m (2016: £2.6m) with cash conversion of 129%
    • Reduction in net debt (since Imagine acquisition financing) to £5.2m at 31 March 2017

Operational highlights

  • Delivering on global platform strategy for specialist media, with strong progress in both revenue diversification and development of the platform
  • Media division
    • Specialist content driving substantial online audience growth – 53 million online users in March 2017, up 18% year-on-year
    • Strong organic revenue growth in core global brands – up 81%, GamesRadar+ up 40% and up 72% year-on-year
    • Growth of events portfolio to 17 annual events and increasing visitor numbersv
    • Strategic partnerships leveraging unique platform proposition by offering high-margin licensing and franchising of key brands
    • Further progress on platform development, with new brand launched in just two weeks (T3 Baby)
  • Magazine division focusing on market-leading specialist content, delivering efficiency in operations and continual innovation
  • The acquisitions of Imagine Publishing and Team Rock now fully integrated
    • Imagine Publishing substantially increased scale of Group; full year effect of synergy savings of £3m expected in FY18 as planned
    • Acquisition of Team Rock in January 2017 brings scalable brands with loyal fan bases

Zillah Byng-Thorne, Future’s Chief Executive, said:

“We have delivered another strong performance with substantial increases in both revenue and profitability, driven by organic growth and acquisition. We are seeing clear benefits from our operational gearing and we continue to focus on cash conversion.

“Our strategy to build a global scalable platform business for specialist media with data at its heart is gaining real momentum as we continue to diversify our revenue streams.

“The quality of our content – as a trusted destination for consumers and for our customers – allied with our market-leading and global super brands have driven further significant online audience growth.”

*Earnings before share based payments, interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation, impairment of intangible assets and exceptional items.


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