Informa and UBM report third quarter growth

The business information and events company Informa has updated its financials for the third quarter, having completed the sale of its under-performing corporate training business to private equity. The group reported organic growth of 1.1 per cent in the nine months to 30 September 2013.

City analysts say the company’s large-scale events are booking well, however, and point to “cautious optimism”.

The training side of the business had been highly dependent on the struggling pharma and finance industries and on mature markets in the US and Europe.

“Overall, we remain confident of meeting expectations for the full year,” said CEO Peter Rigby. “We completed the sale of our five Corporate Training businesses at the end of September, leaving the group more focused and less volatile. The sale further strengthens our balance sheet and we continue to look for attractive opportunities to deploy our capital efficiently, in line with our strategy,” added Rigby.

Informa’s academic publishing has showed some like-for-like growth, up on the first half of the year’s figures, although this rate of growth is unlikely to be maintained.

The events side, however, looks the strongest performer of all, with underlying revenues ahead by 2.9 per cent.

Long-serving Rigby is leaving at the end of the year, and new man in charge, Stephen Carter, formerly of Alcatel-Lucent, will have a changed landscape to get to grips with in the New Year.

UBM, which will also have a new boss next year as David Levin leaves the company, reported underlying revenue growth of 2.3 per cent in the third quarter driven by a 10.8 per cent growth in events.

“Our performance in Q3 continued the positive momentum we have seen develop through the year,” said Levin. “Large events, notably our shows in China, have performed well, and we continue to expect good growth in Q4 boosted by strong biennial revenues. We have seen softer conditions in certain markets, mainly in Brazil and India, and have slightly reduced the number of new launch events originally scheduled for Q4.”

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Paul Colston

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Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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