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MARKET REPORT: Future shares tumble as boss plots her departure

Future fell 16.3% after news chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne (pictured) told the group's chairman that she planned to retire within the next 18 months

Shares of publishing giant Future have fallen to their lowest level in more than two years following reports that its longtime boss is set to quit.

The FTSE 250, which owns magazine stocks such as Marie Claire and Country Life, fell 17.56%, or 291p, to 1,366p after news chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne told the chairman of the band that she planned to retire in the next 18 years. month.

The company insisted Byng-Thorne remained “committed to the business”, although it admitted it had “informally indicated that it wishes to retire by the end of 2023”.

Future fell 16.3% after news chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne (pictured) told the group's chairman that she planned to retire within the next 18 months

Future fell 16.3% after news chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne (pictured) told the group’s chairman that she planned to retire within the next 18 months

Byng-Thorne led Future for nearly a decade and spearheaded a wave of acquisitions that saw the company take over a litany of media brands, bucking the trend. of a traditionally cautious sector.

Along with its magazine titles, the company also owns more e-commerce-focused brands, such as the shopping comparison service GoCompare.

But the chief executive has not escaped criticism from shareholders, some of whom have complained about the size of her salary package.

Earlier this year investors voted against plans for a new share program which would have seen Byng-Thorne and other senior executives hand over £95million.

Speculation over his departure follows a sharp decline in Future’s stock price, which has fallen more than 60% so far this year as traders fled digital and tech stocks amid fears over the Mondial economy.

However, shares are still up more than 1,500% since Byng-Thorne took over in 2014.

The FTSE 100 fell 0.61%, or 44.02 points, to 7192.66 while the FTSE 250 fell 1.43%, or 269 points, to 18,528.14.

Stock Watch – Boku

Shares of Boku rose after the mobile payments company struck a new deal with e-commerce giant Amazon.

The deal, which will run for an initial three-year term, will see Boku process payments for Amazon’s Prime Video subscription service to customers in parts of Southeast Asia and Africa. .

The company will receive a percentage of Amazon’s revenue based on the value of each Prime Video transaction.

The shares jumped 14.94%, or 11.5p, to 88.5p.

Traders were on sluggish footing on the first day after the Queen’s state funeral, although the blue-chip index found some support in banking stocks ahead of what are expected to be further interest rate hikes of the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve this week, moves that should boost their profitability.

HSBC shares rose 0.85%, or 4.5p, to 534.1p while Lloyds rose 2.5%, or 1.2p, to 49p. Barclays fell 0.13%, or 0.22p, to 170.92p, NatWest fell 1.32%, or 3.6p, to 269.3p, but Standard Chartered rose 0.1%, or 0.6p, to 602.8p.

Also in focus is Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s much-anticipated “mini-budget”, which is expected to contain a series of tax cuts as well as measures to protect households from crippling energy bills.

Despite trading earlier in the day, oil prices slipped into the red towards the end of the session, with Brent crude trading below $91 a barrel as energy traders worried about a slowdown in fuel demand caused by rising interest rates weighing on economic growth.

But Shell shares managed to pull off a gain, climbing 0.26%, or 6p, to 2302.5p while BP was up 0.1%, or 0.45p, to 452.5p.

Moonpig fell 7.5pc, or 15p, to 185p after the company refocused on greeting cards amid the cost of living squeeze, a break from its previous strategy of trying to promote more profitable items such as giveaways.

Despite growing concerns over consumer spending, the company reiterated its full-year guidance, adding that it expects to make about 60% of its revenue in the second half, which includes the peak Christmas holiday season.

Grocery delivery group Ocado fell 9.63%, or 64.6p, to 606.4p after HSBC analysts downgraded the stock to ‘cut’ from ‘hold’, warning that weak growth company and small customer orders were likely to “weigh heavily”. on profits.

The investment bank also slashed its target price on the share to 575p from 1000p, adding that the cost pressures the business is facing could continue into next year.

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