Informa profits and dividend up, despite events revenues dip

International information supplier and events producer Informa has reported
profit before tax doubling to £66.4m for their interim results despite a
reduction in events revenue.
 
Chief executive Peter Rigby hailed the six-month
results as “noticeably improved, despite uneven economic recovery in terms of
region and vertical sector”.
 
Informa results to 30 June 2010 show adjusted
operating profit growth of 4.2 per cent on increased margins. Group revenues “on
an organic basis marginally declined by 0.5 per cent”, the statement
said.
 
The events and training portfolio now accounts for 48.7 per cent of
Informa’s revenues. Informa pointed to improved trends in delegate numbers and
sponsorship, while its exhibitions remained strong. Corporate training was
starting to recover, the group noted. 
 
The events portfolio increased
adjusted operating profits by 11.4 per cent, although revenues of £304m marked a
3.2 per cent dip on events and training’s £314.2m contribution in the same
period of 2009.
Informa said it was running more large-scale events, which
account for over a third of the portfolio’s revenues. Substantial cost has been
removed from the businesses over the past two years, allowing it to now make
selective investments by launching new products.
 
On the exhibition side,
Informa claimed successes with its Arab Health, Palm China and IPTVa and IPEX
shows. Real estate in the Middle East was identified as a weakness, however,
with Cityscape shows down on previous years. 
 
Some of the largest conferences
– GAIM, Fund of Funds and Prepaid Card Expo – were up 30 per cent and the
smaller European conference businesses experienced good growth, according to the
interim statement, with conditions also improving in Australian, Russian and
German markets.
The training sector was flagged up as the most challenging in
the events portfolio.
 
Problems with a US government contractor Robbins Gioia
had impacted the US business, leading to a 12.2 per cent decline.
 
Overall,
Rigby said he was “pleased with the positive start made to the year which shows
the strength of our balanced business model, where stable publishing and
information revenues complement our more cyclical, operationally geared events
and training business”.
 
The board increased the dividend by 25 per cent, to
4.5p.

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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