Tarsus Group, Informa, UBM All See Revenue, Profit Increases in 2017

March 2, 2018

If the positive 2017 full-year earnings reports for three large for-profit exhibition companies are any indication, then the industry is performing well, despite uncertain geo-political times in different regions around the world.

U.K.-based Tarsus Group had record revenues last year, scoring £117 million ($161 million), compared with £86.9 million ($120 million) in the comparable year 2015, a 35-percent increase.

In addition, like-for-like revenues saw an increase of 7 percent and adjusted profit before tax of £40.2 million ($55 million) was up 53 percent against 2015.

"2017 was a record year for Tarsus. It saw the culmination of the first phase of our Quickening the Pace strategy, which over the past few years has transformed the business and produced strong returns for our shareholders,” said Tarsus Group Managing Director Douglas Emslie.

He added, “The Group has grown significantly, both organically and through carefully targeted acquisitions and over the next four years of our strategy we will build further on the strong foundations we have laid down.”

Some highlights from 2017 included buyer/visitor growth across the portfolio of 7 percent, more than double the industry average; strong performances from leading events: recent acquisitions of Connect, Hometex and Intex all performed well; 28 brand replications launched; and JV in Mexico expanded through acquisition of remaining nine E J Krause Mexico events.

“Our growth ambitions are supported by the global industry outlook and enhanced by our own focus on deepening our presence in higher-growth markets, maximising the scale of our events and delivering high-quality buyers,” Emslie said.

He added, “2018 is off to a good start, with forward bookings currently ahead of our target range. Whilst we continue to be mindful of geopolitical uncertainty, the outlook for the year is good, and we proceed with confidence.”

On the verge of becoming the biggest worldwide exhibition organizer in the world, pending its merger with U.K.-based UBM, U.K.-based Informa also released its 2017 full-year earnings results, with revenue growing 30 percent to £1.75 billion ($2.4 billion).

In addition, the company saw 3.4 percent underlying growth.

Informa has seen a massive revenue jump in exhibitions from £321 million ($442 million) in 2016 to £560 million ($771 million) last year, a 74-percent increase. In addition, the company also had 7.6 percent underlying growth.

One of the highlights from 2017 was Informa’s $133 million acquisition of Yachting Promotions.

That particular buy will pale in comparison, though, to the proposed $5.5 billion acquisition of UBM, pending a shareholder vote this month.

“2017 was a year of performance and delivery, with all four divisions in growth, the integration of Penton Information Services achieved ahead of plan and our four-year acceleration programme delivered on budget and on schedule,” said Informa’s CEO Stephen A. Carter.

He added: "Our investments over the last four years have helped build operational capability for continued growth and scale in 2018 and beyond."

U.K.-based UBM reported revenues of £1.0 billion ($1.4 billion), an increase of 16 percent year-on- year. Adjusted operating profits increased by 25 percent to £294 million ($397 million).

Revenues from annual events were £781 million ($1.05 billion), representing an adjusted underlying growth of 5.3 percent.

While biennial events in 2017 generated revenues of £86 million ($116 million), up 3.7 percent, compared with the biennial events in 2015.

Management attributed the growth in the annual events to strong growth in Asia.

Growth from launches and at Allworld events also was cited. The growth at biennial events in part as due to the inclusion of revenue from Allworld’s biennial events, HOFEX and Food; Hotel Indonesia.

“Over the last three years, Events First has focused UBM on the attractive events market and the team has built a high-quality events business with geographic breadth and strong brands, serving a wide range of industry sectors,” said Tim Cobbold, CEO of UBM.

He added, “In 2017, we delivered a strong financial performance with Annual Events adjusted underlying revenue growth accelerating to 5.3 percent, further margin expansion and strong cashflow. We saw excellent growth in Asia in particular and growth in all our major verticals, bar Fashion.”


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