Country Life publisher Future sees shares plummet 9.7% as investors vote down compensation package for recently-departed finance boss
- Only one resolution out of 19 was not approved by shareholders at the AGM
- Future’s share price has still soared under CEO Zillah Byng-Thorne’s leadership
Shares in magazine publisher Future have taken a tumble as shareholders voted down the directors’ remuneration report at the company’s annual general meeting.
The group’s share price fell 9.7 per cent to £30.76 on Thursday after it revealed that many investors had voted against a resolution with regards to the ‘leaving provisions’ of former chief financial officer Rachel Addison.
This was the only resolution out of 19 not to be approved by shareholders at Future’s AGM, with the overwhelming majority being ratified with majorities of more than 90 per cent. Two others received dissent from over a third of shareholders.
Titles: Future is the publisher of magazines such as football periodical FourFourTwo, Classic Rock, technology journal T3, and ProCycling
Addison left the publisher at the end of October after just a year in her role, during which time the firm acquired GoCo Group, the owner of price comparison website Go Compare, and agreed to buy Dennis Publishing in a £300million deal.
No reason was given by the business for her departure, and she was replaced by her predecessor Penny Ladkin-Brand, who had spent five years in the equivalent position before becoming its chief strategy officer.
Future further announced today that its full-year results are set to meet the upgraded forecasts it set out in November, even against a background of high inflation and macroeconomic uncertainty.
It also declared that it was on track to complete the acquisition of Dennis Publishing, whose magazine titles include The Week, Computer Active and Minecraft World, by the end of next month.
Chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne said: ‘We are pleased to report the continued growth in the group, with trading in line with the expectations we set at the full-year results, delivering material year-on-year growth despite the inflationary backdrop.
‘Good momentum in digital advertising is being driven by the strength of our trusted content which continues to attract a high-value audience, making us a partner of choice for advertisers.
‘Our diversified strategy positions us well to continue our strong growth momentum, and we are pleased to reiterate our recently upgraded guidance for the full year.’
Byng-Thorne has spearheaded a gigantic transformation of Future under her leadership, buying up dozens of publications, diversifying its portfolio and expanding the digital side of the business.
Titles bought by the media company have included football periodical FourFourTwo, Country Life, lifestyle magazine Woman & Home, and MoneyWeek.
While this has happened, the share price has recovered from over a decade of paltry value following the bursting of the dot-com bubble, to be one of the London Stock Exchange’s best performers.
In the last 12 months, shares have surged by more than 85 per cent; but their value has skyrocketed almost twentyfold over the previous five years.