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Double-digit organic growth and a year of material international expansion

Future plc (LSE: FUTR, “Future”, “the Group”), the global platform for specialist media, today publishes results for the year ended 30 September 2018.

Financial highlights

  • Substantial growth in Group revenue; up 48% to £124.6m (2017: £84.4m), of which 11% is organic growth1
    • Strong performance in Media revenue, up 88% to £64.2m (2017: £34.1m), of which 40% is organic growth1
      • Digital display grew 63% to £31.8m
      • eCommerce increased 104% to £18.2m
      • Events grew 148% to £12.9m
    • Magazine revenue up 20% to £60.4m (2017: £50.3m), driven by the acquisition of the Haymarket titles
  • US revenue up 109% to £39.9m (2017: £19.1m), of which 28% is organic growth; UK revenue up 38% to £92.5m (2017: £67.2m), of which 6% is organic growth
  • Online Revenue Per User (RPU), a key metric, has increased in both the UK by 26% to £1.68 and the US by 32% to £0.96 as we monetise our audiences more effectively across both territories.
  • Adjusted EBITDA2 increased 88% to £20.7m (2017: £11.0m), reflecting margin expansion through change in revenue mix and revenue growth across both Media and Magazine divisions
  • Continued growth of Adjusted operating profit up 108% to £18.5m (2017: £8.9m) before share-based payments, amortisation of acquired intangibles, non-trading foreign exchange gains and exceptional items of £13.2m (2017: £8.1m); statutory operating profit up to £5.3m (2017: £0.8m)
  • Adjusted EPS increased by 33% to 26.2p per share (2017: 19.7p per share restated for rights issue); Reported EPS increased to 5.1p per share (2017: 3.7p per share restated for rights issue)
  • Strong adjusted free cash flows3 of £17.4m (2017: £15.3m) representing 96% adjusted cash conversion4
  • Conservative balance sheet with net debt of £17.8m, less than 1x net debt / Adjusted EBITDA
  • Low capital intensive business with capex spend of less than £2.5m
  • The Board is pleased to recommend the recommencement of dividends with 0.5p per share payable on 15 February 2019 to all shareholders on the register at close of business on 18 January 2019

Operational highlights

  • Notable increase in Media revenues underpinned by further diversification through acquisitions and organic growth across all regions
  • Significantly increased presence in US market driven by organic growth in Media division and acquisitions of Purch B2C (via a fully underwritten rights issue which raised £105.7m) and NewBay Media
  • Strategic move into B2B through acquisition of NewBay Media and focus on monetisation of TechRadar Pro
  • Three gaming and technology brands acquired from Nextmedia in Australia in September
  • Considerable online audience growth – 142 million websites users (monthly) (2017: 49 million)
    • Continued investment in technology stack to maintain operational scalability
    • New website platform now has 15 sites; four sites migrated to the platform this year
  • Integration of NewBay and Haymarket titles now completed; Purch and Nextmedia titles integration well progressed
  • Over 52% of revenue now delivered by Media division, exceeding revenues from Magazines for the first time

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

“Future has had an outstanding year. The financial results speak volumes for the successful execution of the Group’s focused strategy in leveraging its specialist media platform and diversifying its revenue streams, both geographically and across its product offering.

“Our four acquisitions this year have broadened and strengthened our B2C and B2B portfolios and materially increased our global reach. The expansion of our US business also presents material opportunities to monetise our significant US online audience.

“The year has started well with trading ahead of the Board’s expectations for this quarter, and while we recognise there is still much uncertainty for the remainder of the year, the Board is confident that trading will continue the trends of the last year with strong growth.

1) Organic defined as excluding 2018 acquisitions and the Home Interest acquisition in August 2017.
2) Adjusted EBITDA represents earnings before share-based payments and associated social security costs, interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation, impairment of intangible assets, non-trading foreign exchange gains and exceptional items.
3) Adjusted free cash flow is defined as adjusted operating cash inflow less capital expenditure. Adjusted operating cash inflow represents operating cash inflow adjusted to exclude cashflows relating to exceptional items.
4) Adjusted cash conversion represents adjusted operating cash inflow as a percentage of adjusted EBITDA.

Read the full RNS of Future’s results here.

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