Global Sources' Q1 Exhibitions Revenue Drops by Half, Compared with 2011

May 21, 2012

Global Sources ended 2011 with positive revenue results, but the beginning of 2012 wasn’t as upbeat, with first-quarter exhibition revenue dropping to $2.2 million, compared with $4.4 million the first quarter in 2011.

Global Sources’ management stated the decrease in Q1 exhibition revenues resulted from the rescheduling of one trade show from January 2012 to December 2011.

Print revenue also declined to $4.3 million in the first quarter of 2012, compared with $4.7 million in the same quarter last year.

Online revenue was a bright note, however, with $30.9 million in the first quarter of this year, compared with $27.2 million during the same quarter last year.

Overall first-quarter revenue also saw a slight uptick to $38.9 million, as compared with $37.5 million during the same quarter last year.

“For the quarter, we achieved revenue of $38.9 million driven by growth in our online business,” said Merle A. Hinrichs, Global Sources’ executive chairman.

He added, “Looking forward, our customers are becoming more conservative with their marketing budgets due to the slowdown in exports and the continued softening of the global economy.”

The relatively flat and negative numbers were in sharp contrast to a banner year last year for the company.

Global Sources ended 2011 with a positive Q4 revenue increase to $74 million, compared with $63 million in 2010, as well as positive increases in full-year revenues to $225 million from $197 million in 2010.

Exhibitions revenue in the fourth quarter last year was $35.5 million, compared with $29.9 million in 2010, and online revenue rose to $30.5 million, compared with $25.5 million the year before.

Hinrichs warned 2012’s first-half numbers would be lower than expected when the earnings forecast was revised in April.

Hinrichs said at the time, “Based on our customers, investment in marketing is becoming more cautious, we are revised in the first half of 2012, net operating income and net income guidelines we see, exporters light of global economic uncertainty factors and phenomena of the slowdown in exports has made the appropriate adjustments by and the softening of the EU market demand, the political environment of the Middle East turmoil, the company expects the exhibitors of the exhibition held in Dubai in May will be significantly reduced, therefore, we expected in the first half of 2012, net revenues are expected to decline. “

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