Future boss Zillah Byng-Thorne hails record results at magazine house 


Future boss Zillah Byng-Thorne hails record results after ‘excellent’ six months at the magazine house

Future boss Byng-Thorne, who has faced a shareholder backlash over a massive pay package, said the company had delivered ‘robust growth’

The queen of publishing, Zillah Byng-Thorne, hailed record results after an ‘excellent’ six months at the magazine house.

The FTSE 250 company behind The Week and Country Life upped its guidance for the current financial year after sales in the half year to April rose by almost 50 per cent.

Record results: Future boss Zillah Byng-Thorne (pictured), who has faced a shareholder backlash over a massive pay package, said the company had delivered ‘robust growth’

Future said sales were boosted by the added income from its recent takeovers.

The magazine publisher is one of the best performing businesses on the London Stock Exchange, having seen shares jump nine-fold in the past five years thanks to a wave of acquisitions.

It said it is showing resilience despite soaring inflation pushing up printing costs and brushed off fears of advertisers reining in spending which has dogged giants such as Facebook.

Byng-Thorne, who is one of Britain’s best-paid chief executives, said: ‘We have delivered robust growth despite an inflationary environment and prior year comparators enhanced by the impact of Covid-19.

‘We are pleased to be on track to deliver another strong full-year of profitable growth despite the wider macro- economic outlook.’

Byng-Thorne has faced a shareholder backlash over a massive pay package that could see her paid as much as £40million in shares by the end of 2025, with £13million up for grabs as early as next year.

Yesterday the Bath-based business said it struggled to keep up with audience figures from last year, which were boosted by lockdowns. But in the back half of its financial year it expects to return to audience growth. 

It also said its takeover this month of Who What Wear will complete in the coming months and begin boosting sales.

Who What Wear, which has 12million online users and 10million social followers, makes around 90 per cent of its revenue from the US.

Future said it will become the sixth biggest beauty and fashion publisher in the country because of the deal.

It came as sales in the first half of its financial year hit £404million, a 48 per cent jump from the same time last year.

Profit at the publisher also jumped 48 per cent to £88.4million, up from £59.7million a year earlier.

Despite the update, its stock dipped 5.8 per cent – or 120p – to 1934p as shareholders took profits.

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