Events Portfolio Gives Big Boost to UBM Q1 Profits
First-time events under t he UBM banner – Game Developers Conference and EcoBuild – were so successful they, and other events in the portfolio, helped boost UBM Q1 revenue 11 per cent to £264.2 million, compared with the same period last year.
The event portfolio had particularly strong results, an increase of 46 percent to £123.1 million ($200 million) compared with the same period in 2011, while adjusted operating profit rose 53 percent to £42.4 million ($69 million).
Overall operating profit also rose 26 percent to £56.1 million ($91 million).
“UBM performed well in the first quarter. We were particularly pleased by the performance of our Events businesses, most notably Game Developers Conference and Ecobuild in its first edition under UBM ownership,” said David Levin, CEO of UBM.
He added, “PR Newswire has had a solid start to the year with subdued growth in the United States, partially offset by international growth, notably in China. Data Services revenues were lower than anticipated, largely reflecting phasing factors, which we expect will unwind through the year. As expected, UBM’s online Marketing Services revenues exceeded Print revenues for a full reporting period for the first time."
Other events in the UBM portfolio that posted double-digit numbers in the first quarter included Sign China and Enterprise Connect.
UBM also has been bullish on the acquisition front, recently buying events such as Negocios nos Trilhos, South America’s leading railway industry exhibition, from Grupo Revista Ferroviária on behalf of UBM, as well as the Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF), China International Exhibition & Symposium on Dental Equipment, Technology & Products (DenTech China), Renewable Energy India Expo and Airport Cities Exhibition & Conference (ACE).
Based on the strong first quarter results, UBM officials said they now expect that underlying growth for events for the full year will be in the range of 10 percent to 12 percent, which is slightly higher than previously anticipated.
However, Levin added, this will offset slower growth in PR volumes and advertising activity, particularly in print magazines.
He said, “We now expect growth in both PR Newswire and Marketing Services to come in at the lower end of our guidance ranges. Although conditions in a number of our markets remain challenging, and year-on-year comparisons will get tougher as the year progresses, the business is performing well, and we maintain our consolidated guidance for 2012.”
Until recently, the opportunity to have a celebrity attend an event, attach themselves to a name-brand or endorse a certain product or idea was untouchable. The thought of paying a person to promote a product was seen as something only Fortune 500 companies could afford. Social media has changed all that with brands and businesses utilizing celebrity influencers to connect directly with their demographics and increase sales and profits.