Future Publishing agrees terms for acquisition of GoCompare

Source: Future Publishing

Future Plc, the global platform for specialist media, today published results for the year end 30 September 2020 which are ahead of expectations and demonstrate the continued strength of its strategy to build a specialist global media platform that drives intent, powered by technology and insight with scalable, diversified brands.

Highlights include

Top line revenues grew 53% to £339.6m (FY19 £221.5m), with Media organic revenue growth of 23%
Adjusted EBITDA was £101.9m - growing from £54.5m in FY19
Online audience grew 56%, with organic audience up 48%,
With the acquisition of TI Media, geographical revenue split is now 57% UK and 43% US

Future has seen total investment of £50m in content creation during the year, with editorial headcount now accounting for 46% of total workforce. Eight new websites have been launched, many in new verticals introduced by the TI Media acquisition, which utilise the content expertise of the TI Media team, while scalable digital advertising and eCommerce technology stack enables a strong path to revenue growth. The company has also developed Falcon, a new lead generation technology, as it seeks to continue the diversification of revenue streams and the expansion of its technology stack

Integration of TI Media, acquired in April 2020, is now complete. Performance has been ahead of expectations and synergies arising from the transaction are now expected to be £20m per annum (versus original forecasts of £15m per annum), with £3m delivered in FY2020 results. The integration of Barcroft Studios, acquired in November 2019, is also now complete. Barcroft adds another significant new revenue stream in video production and presents opportunities for the Group to further monetise through video

Recommended offer for GoCo Group plc

Future plc has today separately announced that it has agreed the terms of a recommended offer to acquire the entire issued and to be issued share capital of GoCo Group plc. We believe that the Combination will significantly strengthen the Future Group’s proposition of seeking to address the growing consumer demand for informed and value driven purchasing decisions enabled by intent driven content. We also believe the Combination provides a truly unique opportunity to capitalise on the combination of Future’s deep audience insight with GoCo’s expertise in price comparison and the proprietary technology of both the Future Group and the GoCo Group.

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

“Our exceptional results, which are ahead of expectations, demonstrate the continued strength of our strategy, as well as the innovation, fortitude and agility of our business, focused on its purpose, delivered by its people. I am extremely proud of the way our colleagues have rapidly adapted to address the challenging market resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic over recent months, and want to thank them for their hard work and commitment this year.

Future has continued to thrive by knowing what our audiences value most, enabling us to take advantage of the changing market landscape to continue to deliver incredible content to our communities in whatever way meets their needs.

Our content now reaches one in three adults in the UK and US, and our leadership positions are underpinned by a track record of strong, consistent organic growth, and accelerated through acquisitions. The long-term fundamentals of growing global digital advertising spend and eCommerce growth add to our confidence that, despite continued market uncertainty, we remain well-positioned to continue our strong growth.

Alongside these results, we are delighted to announce a Recommended Offer for GoCo Group plc, which we believe will deliver significant long-term shareholder value. Through the acquisition, we expect to create a leading offering for consumers, providing complementary insights that enable consumers to make informed choices in their passions, interests and key purchasing decisions. The transaction will bring together our depth of audience insight and reach with GoCo’s expertise in price comparison, underpinned by the proprietary technology of both groups.”

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