Magazine publisher Future rose amid reports its boss was exploring the sale of its business-to-business operations.
The FTSE 250 firm, which is behind titles such as Country Life, Marie Claire and Four Four Two, could prioritise consumer-facing brands under plans drawn up by Jon Steinberg.
That would involve the sale of B2B assets such as the email newsletter publishing platform SmartBrief, Sky News reported.
Steinberg, who took over as chief executive in April, has drafted in investment bankers to look into the disposal.
A sale marks a sharp change in strategy at the company which has previously been an aggressive acquirer of publications.
Shares up: Future, which is behind titles such as Country Life, Marie Claire and Four Four Two, could prioritise consumer-facing brands under plans drawn up by Jon Steinberg
Future declined to comment.
Around a tenth of the group’s £405million of revenues it made in the six months to the end of March came from B2B operations. Shares gained 3.6 per cent, or 27p, to 777p.
The FTSE 100 rose 0.1 per cent, or 8.68 points, to 7473.67 and the FTSE 250 was up 0.5 per cent, or 95.93 points, to 18,564.52.
Airline stocks endured a turbulent session amid fears over the fallout of the air traffic control chaos.
Thousands of families and holidaymakers suffered after a ‘technical glitch’ sent the UK’s National Air Traffic Services system into meltdown.
The situation has left many stranded while some face the prospect of waiting almost a fortnight for a flight home.
Willie Walsh, the head of global airlines group International Air Transport Association, said Monday’s failure is likely to cost airlines around £100m.
Stock Watch – Quarto
Book publisher Quarto tumbled after it warned sales were likely to remain weak.
The group, whose best-sellers include Little People, Big Dreams and London: A Guide for Curious Wanderers, said revenues fell 16 per cent to £41million in the first six months of 2023 following the closure of its distribution service.
Profit plunged 61 per cent to £2million.
Its UK and US businesses took a hit from reduced consumer demand, delayed orders and weaker sales.
Shares fell 30.7 per cent, or 47.5p, to 107.5p.
British Airways owner IAG fell 1.2 per cent, or 1.9p, to 161.2p, while Easyjet edged up 0.2 per cent, or 0.8p, to 418.1p and Wizz Air sank 0.3 per cent, or 7p, to 2241p.
It is the latest blow for the industry which took a battering during the pandemic as Covid travel restrictions hit demand for domestic and international flights.
Kingfisher dipped 2.4 per cent, or 5.6p, to 231p after JP Morgan cut the target price on the B&Q and Screwfix owner’s stock to 220p from 230p.
The broker issued a bleak outlook ahead of the blue-chip firm’s half-year results next month, given the weakness in the UK and France’s housing markets.
Engineer Smiths Group bought Heating and Cooling Products, a US-based firm which makes and distributes parts that connect pipes, for around £65million. Shares rose 1.1 per cent, or 18p, to 1640p.
Harland & Wolff, the Belfast shipyard that built the Titanic, is planning to apply for levelling up funding to build two new ferries.
Shares sank 7.2 per cent, or 1.15p, to 14.75p. Belluscura enjoyed its best day since it floated two years ago after the medical device developer entered a licensing agreement with its Chinese global manufacturing partner.
Innomax will make and sell a portable oxygen concentrator in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore from October as part of a ten-year deal that includes up to £43m of royalties.
Shares, which listed at 45p in May 2021, yesterday soared 19.5 per cent, or 8p, to 49p.
But stationery, toys and books retailer The Works plunged 13 per cent, or 4.2p, to 28.05p as soaring inflation drove up the cost of doing business and ate into profits, which fell by almost two-thirds to £5million in the year to the end of April. The group cut its dividend, while online sales tumbled.
Wandisco investors backed the software company changing its name to Cirata – a combination of ‘cirrus cloud’ and ‘data’.
The group said it hopes that the rebrand will provide a ‘new and positive canvas’. Its shares rose 0.7 per cent, or 0.6p, to 83.8p.
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