Specialist global events business ITE Group has announced a pre-close trading update for the year ending 30 September 2014, which hailed ‘better than expected trading performance in Q4 and good cost control’.
Preliminary results will be announced on 2 December 2014, although the company’s update predicted headline profits before tax for FY 2014 would be ahead of current consensus of between £54.8m and £56.7m.
ITE said it expected revenues for FY 2014 to be circa £174m (2013: £193m).
Over its fourth quarter trading, the group ran 38 events, producing revenue of circa £29m (2013: £27m).
Overall, ITE’s like-for-like revenues on a constant currency basis were six per cent higher than last year, although seven per cent lower on an actual currency basis.
Recently imposed sanctions against EU & US food imports by Russia had a minimal effect on overall sales at the group’s World Food Moscow Food event, with the few cancellations from European exhibitors largely offset by additional sales to territories such as Egypt and Turkey, the company said.
Visitor numbers were strong in Moscow, up 12 per cent over the previous edition.
And MODA, the group’s big UK fashion event based at the NEC in Birmingham, was larger than last year at 17,200sqm.
The group listed its net debt of circa £15m as at 26 September 2014 (2013: net cash of £23m), after spending circa £50m on acquisitions and deferred consideration during this financial year.
As at 26 September 2014, the group reported bookings of circa £60m of revenue for the 2015 financial year.
“Economic sanctions have had little direct effect on our Russian business to date,” an ITE spokesperson said and promised to take “appropriate steps to protect its margins”.
ITE said in summary that, overall, the group was in “a strong financial position generating good cash flows and remains well placed to continue to diversify its business into new geographies”.
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