ITE diversifying as revenues hit by Ukrainian crisis

Revenues at international events group ITE appear to have been hit heavily by the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, according to numbers in a pre-close statement ahead of the group’s interim results for the six months ended 31 March 2015.

Management maintained group performance for the six months were still in line with expectations, however.

“Strong results from the group’s associate businesses in Asia helped to offset some of the impact from weaker Russian and Ukrainian trading,” the statement said.

The interim results are to be announced on Monday 11 May 2015.

Revenue for the six-month period to 31 March 2015 was, however, estimated to be circa £56m (six months to 31 March 2014: £71m).

“Revenue for this period reflects a weaker biennial pattern than in the previous year, lower currency translation rates and the impact of current trading conditions in Ukraine and Russia,” the pre-close statement noted.

“On a like-for-like basis (constant currency) revenues for the first six months are 5% behind the comparative period, and 22% behind this time last year on a like-for-like (actual currency) basis.”

The group said it had a flexible cost structure, and was focused on maintaining gross margins in line with prior years and ensuring that overheads appropriately reflected the group’s trading environment.

During the period under review, the group has continued pursuing its strategy of building or acquiring market leading events in its key industry sectors, as well as achieving greater geographic diversification.

In the first quarter, ITE acquired both Eurasia Rail in Turkey and the geographically diverse Breakbulk portfolio of events. Most recently, ITE acquired a 50.1% stake in Africa Oil Week on 10 March 2015.

Group net debt was put at circa £57m as of 27 March 2015, within ITE’s secured debt facilities of £100m which have recently been extended to March 2019.

The acquisition of Africa Oil Week was supported by a successful £12m placing (circa 3% of the group’s equity).

A more stable oil price and a less volatile rouble helped to stabilise trading conditions in Russia over the past two months, although volume sales for Russia remained 20% behind this time last year although reported a small improvement in bookings over the past two months.

“The Board continues to monitor the effects of the prevailing economic conditions in Russia but remains confident that the group’s strong business operations there will weather the crisis successfully,” the ITE statement added. 

The group is headquartered in the UK but has 31 offices in 17 countries.
 
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Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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