GES Parent Company, Viad, Sees Q1 Revenue Uptick

April 27, 2013

The first quarter of 2013 started out on a positive note for Global Experience Specialist’s parent company Viad, with revenues seeing an increase from $268.8 million in the first quarter of 2012 to $285.2 million this year.

The Marketing & Events Group, of which GES is a part of, also saw revenue increases in the first quarter this year, with $276.8 million, compared with $262 million in the same quarter last year.

Steve Moster, GES’ president, said the uptick came from not only positive show rotation, but also higher than forecasted same-show growth and cost-cutting measures that have led to more efficiency.

U.S. segment revenue in the first quarter was $218.3 million, with operating income of $14.1 million, up $11.5 million and $6.9 million, respectively, from the same 2012 quarter.

These improvements were driven by positive show rotation revenue of approximately $7 million, base same-show revenue growth of 2.4 percent and a continued focus on driving operating efficiencies.

Moster said cost-cutting measures fell into three primary buckets, including optimizing facility footprint and utilization, labor management and tight control of discretionary spending.

First quarter International revenue was $60.0 million, compared with $57.8 million in the first quarter of 2012. The revenue increase primarily was driven by positive show rotation revenue of approximately $3 million.

“Viad is off to a very good start in 2013. Consolidated revenue for the quarter was up $16.4 million and segment operating income for the quarter more than doubled to $12.8 million, as compared to the first quarter of 2012,” said Paul B. Dykstra, Viad’s chairman, president and CEO.

He added, “Marketing & Events Group revenue increased 5.6 percent with a 250 basis point increase in segment operating margins versus the comparable quarter last year. Travel & Recreation Group revenue increased 25 percent to $8.4 million as compared to the first quarter of 2012. For the quarter, we delivered strong financial results and a great customer experience, while also driving operational efficiencies and improved margins.”

Besides general service contractor offerings, marketing services also play an important role at GES, Moster said.

“(Our marketing services) are there to help our clients attract new attendees and exhibitors to events,” he added.

For example, Moster said, one of GES’ clients is Bell Helicopter that they help with pre- and post-show marketing, as well as work on creative campaigns.  

The international market, in regions such as Europe, Canada and the Middle East, also is performing well, he added.

“In the U.S., we had two years of steady growth, but now we are starting to see a slowdown,” Moster said. “In Europe, there is more of a steady return.”

Even though the first quarter did have positive growth and the second quarter also is expected to continue that trend, third quarter show rotation is expected to negatively impact revenue by approximately $80 million.

Overall, Moster said, the company expects negative show rotation to have a $55 to $60 million impact, with big shows like the International Manufacturing Technology Show and IWF Atlanta on an off-year.  Next year, though, will see the return of several mega-shows, including CONEXPO/CON-AGG.

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