Home business MARKET REPORT: Magazine publisher Future raises divi as profits soar #englishheadline #MARKET #REPORT #Magazine #publisher #Future #raises #divi #profits #soar

MARKET REPORT: Magazine publisher Future raises divi as profits soar #englishheadline #MARKET #REPORT #Magazine #publisher #Future #raises #divi #profits #soar

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Staff and investors at magazine publisher Future were given more reason to celebrate as the company delivered another bumper set of figures.

The firm, whose titles include Marie Claire, Country Life and MoneyWeek, posted a 107 per cent rise in annual profits to £107.8million as revenues jumped 79 per cent to £606.8million.

Future’s 2,800 staff will share a £10million bonus, with each receiving a minimum of £2,250 – and some rather more. 

Bright: Future, whose titles include Marie Claire, Country Life and Money Week, posted a 107% rise in annual profits to £107.8m as revenues jumped 79% to £606.8m

They are also in line for a pay rise in 2022, with those earning under £50,000 getting 4 per cent and those on more set for 2 per cent.

There was plenty for investors to cheer as well, with the dividend climbing to 2.8p a share from 1.6p the previous year.

The stock soared 12.3 per cent, or 392p, to 3584p – taking gains this year to 110 per cent. Shares are close to the August peak, above 3900p.

The stellar results are a boon for chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne, 47, who could land £40million when a bonus scheme for managers starts paying out in 2023.

Stock Watch – Marston’s

Pub group Marston’s is optimistic about the year and hailed ‘encouraging’ Christmas bookings, despite posting widening losses.

The company, which runs 1,500 UK venues, remains positive despite the spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.

The stock fell on Tuesday amid a sell-off of hospitality stocks over fears of new restrictions. But the firm says it has a full stock of turkeys for its festive period bookings.

Underlying pre-tax losses widened to £100million for the year to October 2, from £22million.

Revenues for the year fell to £423.8million from £821m. Shares dipped 6.5 per cent, or 4.55p, to 65p.  

The update came on another day of turmoil as the Omicron Covid variant rattled investors. 

The FTSE 100 fell 0.7 per cent, or 50.5 points, to 7059.45 while the FTSE 250 was down 1 per cent, or 236.61 points, to 22,519,72. 

The losses were echoed across Europe. Oil slid again, falling back towards $70 a barrel, having been above $80 last week.

Topps Tiles took a knock despite resuming dividends after raking in record revenues. The flooring firm, which suspended payments at the start of the pandemic, said it would pay 3.1p a share – after an 18.3 per cent rise in revenues for the year to October 2 to a record £228million.

It posted profits of £14.3million having lost £9.8million the previous year. But the stock fell 3.2 per cent, or 2p, to 60.6p as it warned of challenges in global supply chains and rising costs. 

Sales since the start of the new financial year are down 0.7 per cent on the same period of 2020 but remain 18.4 per cent above 2019 levels.

‘We are confident in our strategy and our ability to deliver sustainable long term growth,’ said chief executive Rob Parker.

Airfix and model train set firm Hornby cautioned over an unclear full-year outlook as supply chain disruptions cloud the peak festive season.

The group, which makes most of its products in China, said demand was soaring but it was suffering lost sales and rising costs amid freight container and driver shortages. 

It slipped to a £745million pre-tax loss for the six months to September 30 from profits of £17million a year ago.

Shipping times from overseas factories nearly doubled to around 70 days, while each container is costing up to £12,000 extra, which has forced it to hike prices.

Chief executive Lyndon Davies said: ‘Demand is higher than ever, therefore it is disappointing to have experienced the supply chain problems which seem to be easing but remain volatile. 

Right now it is hard to tell what the outcome will be for the full-year results.’ Shares fell 8.4 per cent, or 3.5p, to 38p.

Profits at supermarket supplier Greencore jumped by a fifth to £39million for the year to September, driven by a 4.8 per cent rise in revenue to £1.3billion, as the return of people to offices and universities buoyed demand in the fourth quarter. The stock rose 1.5 per cent, or 1.9p, to 125p.

West End landlord Shaftesbury heralded a ‘remarkable bounce-back’ in activity across its London properties after pandemic restrictions were eased in July.

The company said footfall and occupier confidence particularly improved over the second half of the year, as it reported a loss of £194.9million for the year to September, compared with a £699.5million loss a year earlier. Shares fell 3.9 per cent, or 25p, to 615p.

Micro Focus lifted 8.3 per cent, or 31.2p, to 345.2p as its latest update did little to cheer investors. 

The company, which helps customers maintain and integrate IT systems, hopes to end 2023 with flat or slightly growing revenues following a 5 per cent decline this year.

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#MARKET #REPORT #Magazine #publisher #Future #raises #divi #profits #soar

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