Informa plays to its strengths, with events division posting £93m profit

Publishing and events group Informa this week
returned stronger revenue and operating profits for 2010, with CEO Peter Rigby
identifying “encouraging performances” for the company’s biggest
events.

Informa reported events revenue of £551.4m for the year to 31 December 2010,
down one per cent year-on-year. Its global operating profit
on events increased 10 per cent to £93.5m; while total group revenue was £1.22bn
in 2010, and adjusted operating profits of £313.2m (up 1.2 per
cent).

Informa’s events and training portfolio ranges from small training
courses to large exhibitions, although Rigby said the events division would
focus on raising the quality of earnings by increasing the number of larger,
more resilient events.

In 2010 Informa acquired Australian
Exhibitions and Conferences Group, creating 12 new large events.

On the conference side Rigby said the
strategy would be “to identify emerging themes and produce timely, relevant events”. He picked out as particular
successes the Com series of conferences (including a launch in
Nigeria), Market Research in
the US,
the German Energy event and pharma events.

Informa’s events and
training business
accounts for 45 per cent of group revenue and 30 per cent of operating profit.
Improving economic conditions in Asia, Latin America, Australia, Germany and Scandinavia, helped
increase revenue from core operations there by 2.7 per cent.

“On a sector basis,” said Rigby, “our
financial events recovered well, telecoms remained strong and we expanded our
stable of market leading healthcare events. Average delegate numbers increased
across our entire conference portfolio giving us confidence for the future.”

“Our local language conference and training
companies in Germany and the Netherlands
recovered well after a challenging 2009.”

Rigby did admit to removing “a significant
number of events year on year”. Informa reported 76 of its events run last year
contributed more than £500,000 revenue each, up 10 per cent. The company has 120
exhibitions in its portfolio and promises more conference launches in 2011,
particularly in the Middle
East and within the healthcare
sector.

“After the economic difficulties
experienced over the last two years, the group is in a strong place to deliver
organic growth,” Informa CEO Peter Rigby continued. “We are investing in new
products, recruiting and enhancing our sales teams and geo-cloning our leading
events.”

Do you have a news story for Conference News? Email: pcolston@mashmedia.net

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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