Following good full-year results from Intercontinental Hotels Group this week, a raft of companies active in the global meetings and events sector have released results, including publishing and events giant Reed Elsevier group which announced revenue growth of two per cent, against a six per cent decline in 2009.
Its division Reed Exhibitions announced operating profit up four per cent and annual shows returning to revenue growth in second half. New launches were stepped up significantly.
Recovery will be gradual but prospects are encouraging, said Chairman of Reed Elsevier, Anthony Habgood.
“The bulk of our major restructuring programmes now behind us,” Habgood said. “I am confident that the good progress which is being made on individual business priorities will deliver further improvements.”
Reed Elsevier CEO Erik Engstrom added that Reed Exhibitions had “significantly stepped up its launch programme with 35 new shows, particularly targeting high growth sectors and emerging markets”.
Millennium and Copthorne (M&C) Hotels, meanwhile, has reported a 47 per cent rise in underlying full-year pre-tax profits to £128.6m. The figure was helped by an 11 per cent increase in fourth quarter revenue per available room (RevPAR).
M&C Hotels is unusual in the hotel sector in that it owns most of its assets. Some analysts believe that the model means that although M&C may have fallen faster than others when the industry went into recession, it will recover faster.
Singapore was a stand out for M&C, with RevPAR up 29 per cent.
Another company raising expectations is corporate travel specialist Hogg Robinson Group which this week raised its profit expectations for the full year. It cited a boost in travel activity, particularly in Asia Pacific.
Air freight grew by over one fifth in 2010, airline body IATA has reported, a further sign of economic recovery.
Hogg Robinson said for the four months to end-January 2011, travel bookings and client spend were both up about 15 per cent.
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