Market Report: The future looks rosy for magazine publishers with investors and staff in line for payments once profits soar


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

The firm, which includes Marie Claire, Country Life and Money Week, saw a 107% increase in annual profits to £ 107.8 million, as revenues rose 79% to £ 606.8 million.

Future 2,800 staff share a £ 10 million bonus, with everyone getting at least £ 2,250 – and a few more.

Bright: Future, in its titles 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 in line for a pay rise in 2022, with those earning less than £ 50,000 receiving 4 per cent and those in the higher set receiving 2 per cent.

There was plenty to cheer investors on, with profit margins rising from 1.6p the previous year to 2.8pa.

The stock rose 12.3 per cent, or 392p, to 3584p – taking profit this year to 110 per cent. Shares are nearing August highs, at 3900p.

The stellar results are a boon to Chief Executive District Byung-Thorn, 47, who could drop £ 40 million by 2023 when the bonus scheme begins to pay off for managers.

Stock Watch – Marstons

The pub group is optimistic about the year of the Marstons and praised the Christmas bookings as ‘encouraging’ despite the loss.

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

Shares fell on Tuesday amid the sale of hospitality stocks for fear of new sanctions. But the firm says it has a full stock of turkeys for its festive season bookings.

Pre-tax losses from £ 22 million to October 2 extend to £ 100 million a year.

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

The renewal came on another day of turmoil as the Omicron Covid transformation transformed investors.

The FTSE index closed down 0.7 per cent or 50.5 points at 7059.45, while the FTSE 250 declined 1 per cent or 236.61 points to 22,519,72.

The loss resonated across Europe. The oil slid again, returning to $ 70 per barrel, up more than $ 80 last week.

Topps Tiles took a knock, even though the dividend resumed after earning record earnings. Flooring, which froze payments at the start of the epidemic, said it would pay 3.1pa a share – after revenues rose 18.3 percent year-on-year to a record £ 228 million.

It lost £ 9.8m the previous year and posted a £ 14.3m profit. But the stock fell 3.2 per cent, or 2p, to 60.6p as warnings of challenges and rising costs in global supply chains.

Since the start of the new fiscal year, sales have fallen 0.7 per cent over the same period in 2020 but remain 18.4 per cent below the 2019 level.

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

Airfix and model train set company Hornby warned of a vague full-year outlook as supply chain disruptions increase the festive season’s peak.

The group, which manufactures most of its products in China, said demand was skyrocketing but it was missing out on rising sales and rising costs amid a shortage of freight containers and drivers.

It posted a pre-tax loss of £ 745million for the six months to September 30, up from a profit of £ 17million a year ago.

Shipping times from overseas factories have nearly doubled to 70 days, but cost an additional £ 12,000 per container, which has forced prices to rise.

Chief executive Lyndon Davies said: ‘Demand is higher than ever, so it’s disappointing to experience supply chain issues that seem to be easing but volatile.

It’s hard to say now what the full year’s results will be. Shares fell 8.4 per cent, or 3.5p, to 38p.

Profits at the supermarket supplier Greencore jumped from £ 5m a year to £ 39m a year in September, rising 4.8 per cent to £ 1.3bn as demand for people returned to offices and universities in the fourth quarter. The stock rose 1.5pc, or 1.9p, to 125p.

West End landlord Shaftesbury announced a ‘significant bounce-back’ in activity across its London properties after easing the epidemic in July.

Footfall and occupancy confidence have improved significantly in the second half of the year, with a reported loss of £ 194.9million a year since September, compared with a loss of £ 699.5million a year ago. Shares fell 3.9 per cent, or 25p, to 615p.

Micro Focus rose 8.3 per cent, or 31.2p, to 345.2p because its latest update did little to cheer up investors.

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

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