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British publisher Future's shares slump on profit warning
March 14, 2014 / 10:41 AM / 4 years ago

British publisher Future's shares slump on profit warning

(Reuters) - Publishing group Future Plc warned on Friday that its full-year adjusted core profit would be “significantly below” market expectations and lower than last year’s level, sending its shares tumbling as much as 30 percent.

Future, Britain’s number one magazine exporter, said the poor trading conditions towards the end of the first quarter continued into the first two months of 2014.

“We see little prospect for any PBT (profit before tax) this year. The return to the dividend list looks premature and the company will do well not to cede control of their affairs to the banks if EBITDA falls much further”, Peel Hunt analyst Malcolm Morgan wrote in a note to clients.

The company - whose roster of publications include T3, Cycling Plus, Total Film, Mollie Makes and Xbox: The Official Magazine - reported normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and exceptional items (EBITDAE) of 7.6 million pounds ($12.67 million) for the year ended September 30, 2013.

“The implication of this update is that our EBITDAE (estimate) will need to be cut by at least 30 percent to below 6.4 million pounds”, Numis Securities said in a note.

The company said it would now focus on its core areas -technology, sports and photography - and that steps initiated last month to cut costs would continue for the rest of the year. (link.reuters.com/rag67v)

Future stock was trading at 9.50 pence at 1017 GMT, making it one of the top percentage losers on the London Stock Exchange. Excluding Friday’s fall, the shares have lost about a third of their value since the beginning of this year.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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