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Future announces record half year results

Future Plc, the global platform for specialist media, today announces another record set of results demonstrating strong organic growth, margin progression, and cash generation.

Highlights of the results – which are materially ahead of market expectations – include:

  • Revenue up 89% to £272.6m (HY 2020: £144.3m)
  • Adjusted operating profit¹ up 124% to £89.2m (HY 2020: £39.9m)
  • Record engagement as we meet our audiences’ needs, with online users at 311m a month, up 31%, and total reach of 419m a month
  • 19% increase in direct digital ad campaigns
  • 95% yoy increase in the number of affiliate partners achieving sales from Future sites.

The results prove once again the success of Future’s strategy of accelerating growth both organically and through acquisitions.

Globally, the US achieved revenue growth of 31% on an organic basis and UK revenues grew by 5% – the higher revenue mix of events and magazines revenues impacted more materially by the pandemic. 

Online user growth for brands acquired with TI Media in April 2020 are up 54% versus the previous year,  while eCommerce revenue delivered through these brands grew 277% vs prior year for the same period. The integration of GoCo – acquired in February 2021 – is already well advanced, with a very strong performance in the period. Teams have already started to work together on opportunities to leverage performance for the new combined business and we have seen early signs of success. 

For example, it has run successful trials for GoCompare on display ads to lower customer acquisition costs by reducing ad wastage. In addition,  SEO expertise has already delivered improvement: SEO is now the biggest source of revenue for MyVoucherCodes, translating into strong revenue growth of 82% on a proforma basis and GoCompare has seen ranking improvements from the no.4 slot on car insurance prior to acquisition to no.1 during May.

The Group has invested significantly in editorial hires, including the creation of around 150 new roles along while we have created around 37 new roles in the technology team in HY 2021

Zillah Byng-Thorne, Future’s Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted to report the ongoing successful execution of our strategy with record revenue and profit in this half, materially ahead of market expectations.

“The progress we continue to make is testament to the diversity of our revenue streams, the agility of our people, and the scalable operating model we have built over time, which generates long-term sustainable growth.

“Content and data sit at the heart of our business; the depth of our market-leading, specialist brands means that today we reach one in three people online in the US and UK. Thanks to our expert content, combined with our scalable proprietary technology, we continue to increase our reach; the recent acquisition of Marie Claire US is another enabler of our ongoing focus on vertical leadership.

“We know our audiences increasingly seek intent-driven content and authoritative advice to inform their purchasing decisions. We were therefore delighted to acquire GoCo Group and Mozo during the period, accelerating our strategy by extending our eCommerce proposition beyond products into services, further diversifying our revenue streams.”

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