GES' Parent Company - Viad - Reports Full-year Revenue Up, Earnings Down

February 3, 2013

Phoenix-based Viad – Global Experience Specialist’s parent company – reached $1 billion in revenue for 2012, an increase of $82.9 million, or 8.8 percent from 2011, although full-year earnings dropped from $8.8 million in 2011 to $5.3 million in 2012.

“We achieved strong growth in 2012, hitting more than $1 billion in revenue,” said ,” said Paul B. Dykstra, Viad’s chairman, president and CEO.

He added, “Both business units delivered solid results consistent with guidance for the year.”

The Marketing & Events Group performed well, with revenue increasing 7.3 percent to $902.0 million and U.S. base same-show revenue growth of 6.5 percent, compared with 2011.

“Revenue in the Travel & Recreation Group also increased 21 percent to $123.2 million as we benefitted from the first peak season contributions from Alaska Denali Travel and the Banff International Hotel, as well as the newly renovated rooms at the Many Glacier Hotel and increased organic revenue,” Dykstra said.

He added, “For the year, total revenue increased 8.8 percent, operating margins increased 140 basis points to 4.1 percent and income before other items per share nearly doubled compared to 2011.”

Viad also posted losses of $21.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with a loss of $14.9 million during the same time period in 2011. The 2012 Q4 loss was attributed to “unfavorable tax matters” associated with foreign tax credits.

Q4 overall revenue, however, saw an uptick of nearly 3 percent to $202.6 million from $197.4 million during the same period in 2011.

The U.S. Marketing & Events Group, of which GES is a part of, scored favorable numbers in 2012.

Base same-show revenue, or revenue derived from shows that take place in the same city during the same quarter each year, increased 6.5 percent to $281.2 million from $264.0 million in 2011.

Positive show rotation in 2012 also helped drive growth, totaling approximately $21 million from non-annual shows that took place during the year.

One of those big shows was the quadrennial MINExpo International, which was held in September at the Las Vegas Convention Center and had an 860,000 square feet showfloor, up 40 percent from its previous show in 2008.
The show also featured a total of 1,890 exhibitors up nearly 45 percent, and attracted more than 58,359 attendees, an increase of more than 45 percent.

Dykstra pointed to several other cost-saving initiatives that led to higher numbers for GES.

“2012 was a very positive year for GES. Revenue on a year-over-year basis increased 7.3 percent, and we achieved significant cost savings and efficiencies from continuing to rationalize our Service Delivery Network,” he said.

Dykstra added, “Since 2008, we have reduced our U.S. facility footprint by approximately 1.2 million square feet and have realized annualized cost savings in excess of $6 million. Add to that our initiative to more efficiently manage labor utilization throughout the year, and GES’ operating margin for 2012 increased to 2.0 percent for the year from 0.6 percent in 2011.”

This year, though, may be more of a challenge with some of the bigger annual shows not in rotation.

Even so, Dykstra said, “We are targeting a full year operating margin of 2.5 percent for GES in 2013, as we win new business and operate the business even more efficiently.”

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