MD Evans exits Centaur Live as group looks for £2m of cuts

Centaur Media, owner of The Meeting Show, has embarked on a £2m programme of cutbacks across its business.

The group’s recent financial interim statement for the six months ended 30 June 2016 had noted “weakness in smaller, more sponsorship-dependent events”.

Centaur reported a 17% drop in operating profits to £5m from £6.1m, with adjusted diluted earnings per share down 19%.

A statement released on 29 July said a £2m cost cutting programme was already underway and financial services revenues were 10% lower “reflecting weakening advertising trends”.

Centaur Live’s managing director Andrew Evans, the man responsible for the group’s exhibitions, including The Meetings Show, has left the company, CN can reveal.

He told CN he was leaving Centaur Media after five “enjoyable” years. “I leave behind a great team, some superb events and a whole lot of goodwill; this is a very amicable parting. My focus over the next few months is to unearth opportunities, which will see three decades of experience put to good use. As you’d imagine, I am incredibly excited about what lies ahead.”

Paul Kennedy, the consultant who helped engineer the hosted-buyer led show, remains as chairman of its advisory board.

Chief executive Andria Vidler claimed in the financial statement the group remained profitable and on track to deliver a reduction in net debt.

“The slow-down in advertising in the run up to the referendum has reinforced the rationale of our customer-focused strategy to build premium digital subscription products and must-attend events,” she said, claiming the outlook for those brands was positive. “As we continue to take out costs in the second half, we will also focus even more vigorously on our brands which have the potential to accelerate the Group’s transition,” she added.

It would appear that the reorganisation is not yet complete in the Centaur exhibition and publishing portfolios, and the question of where the axe will fall in terms of further cutbacks is one we may have to wait a little longer to answer.

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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