UBM eyeing acquisitions as it becomes more ‘events focused’

Following the disposal of PR Newswire (PRN), global event organiser UBM has told CN that it is becoming more events-focused.

UBM’s H1 adjusted operating profit was up 24.5%, with interim dividend up to 5.4 pence per share. Revenue was up 8% to £380m.

After announcing UBM’s results for H1, ending April 2016, CEO Tim Cobbold said that, having invested £61.4m in acquisitions and announcing the disposal of the Electronics Media portfolio, more acquisitions were planned.

“We have a strong pipeline of acquisitions planned, with both large and smaller bolt-on businesses being eyed,” he told CN.

Cobbold said that UBM was displaying all the signifiers of a strong business, but told CN that, as ever, it was vital to keep an eye on the wider macro-economic environment, but that an even stronger H2 was likely “as is traditional at UBM”.

The company is tipping China and the ASEAN markets as strong performers.

“The sale of PRN was the final major step in the transformation of UBM into a focused events business, following which more than 80% of revenues are now generated from events,” said Cobbold. “Going forward UBM’s performance will increasingly reflect the attractive characteristics of the events industry, and we continue to see high-quality acquisition opportunities to strengthen further the portfolio.

“Our performance in the first half was in line with our expectations and the business is well-positioned for a strong second half. Good progress continues to be made in the execution of the Events First strategy.

“With more than 80% of the group’s revenues generated in the US and emerging markets and less than 10% from the UK, we expect little direct impact from Brexit and a benefit from the stronger dollar.

“Our trading outlook for the year remains unchanged, with further FX benefits expected.”

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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