Informa events revenues plunge 24%

Informa reports today a decline of 24 per cent across its events and training portfolio.

The international events organiser and publisher announced interim results for the six months to 30 June 2009. Revenue grew 1.4 per cent, up from £627.6m in 2008 to £636.3m, despite the poor performance on the event side.

The company says that up to half of the losses across its events and training portfolio are due to a cutback in the number of events.

The exhibition and large event revenue stream remains relatively resilient, the company says, conceding its smaller events are in weaker shape.

“Our large scale events have proven to be most resilientm having held up well during the downturn,” Informa CEO Peter Rigby tells conference-news. “At the smaller end of our portfolio, particularly across Europe, demand has been significantly reduced; however we have a flexible and responsive business model and have taken swift action in response to the reduced demand.

“Trade shows remain one of the best forms of sales and marketing. If you have the right brands and can develop the right topic areas then there is still demand for ‘must attend’ events.

“By proactively taking out unprofitable revenue by reducing volume and costs across the entire portfolio we have minimised the effect on the bottom line.”

Informa chairman Derek Mapp says debt concerns have been alleviated, “our overall adjusted operating margins have increased and we have reacted quickly to challenging markets where we needed to within our events and training portfolio”. Analysts had previously warned of the high debt levels the company carried. That has been slashed 19 per cent to £984.5m.

Mapp says trading conditions for the rest of the year will remain difficult and describes the economic outlook for 2010 as “uncertain”.

Informa’s portfolio reaches across many geographies and leaves the company “well placed” for the eventual recovery, he says.

Adjusted profits, nevertheless, dropped by 38 per cent, despite annualised savings of £20m, such have been the effects of the volume reduction in events and training.

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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