Tarsus Group Closes Out 2018 with 9 Percent Uptick in Like-for-like Revenues

February 27, 2019

In a year without its two biggest biennial shows – Labelexpo Europe and the Dubai Airshow – U.K.-based Tarsus Group still snagged a 9-percent increase in like-for-like revenue (compared to 2016) of $133 million, according to the company’s 2018 results.

Another bright spot was a double-digit increase of buyer/visitor growth across the portfolio of 10 percent, at the top end of the Group’s KPI target of 5-10 percent.

"2018 saw the launch of the latest phase of our Quickening the Pace strategy and we are delivering

against that strategy with another good year of progress both operationally and strategically,” said Tarsus Group Managing Director Douglas Emslie.

He added, “Our buyer/visitor growth of 10 percent was especially pleasing and results from the Group’s focus on deepening our presence in higher-growth markets, maximising the scale of our events and constantly seeking to deliver high-quality buyers.”

Other highlights from 2018 included strong performances from leading events; 19 brand replications launched, including 6 new Connect events; and an outstanding first edition of Labelexpo South East Asia with a strong rebook for 2020.

Tarsus had six acquisitions in 2018, further expanding its global portfolio:

  • eTourism Summit: Tarsus’ US business Connect acquired 80% of this business which links travel destination marketing executives with the latest products and services in digital marketing. The travel industry is one of the largest consumers of digital media.
  • EJ Krause: The Group acquired the remaining 50% of its joint venture with EJ Krause to consolidate its position in the fast-growing Mexican marketplace, where it is now the largest international exhibition company.
  • Expo Restaurantes: Tarsus and EJ Krause jointly acquired 60% of the leading restaurant show in Mexico which successfully ran its first event under our ownership in June.
  • Streamline: Tarsus entered into a strategic partnership in the UAE with Streamline Marketing Group resulting in the acquisition of 100% of the Global Space Congress, the Global Aerospace Summit and the World Aviation Safety Summit, representing a good bolt-on to the Group's existing aerospace portfolio in Dubai. This acquisition completed in January 2019.
  • SIUF: The Group purchased an additional 25% stake - taking its holding to 75% - of Asia’s largest fair for intimate apparel.
  • AMB: The Group acquired an additional 25% in AMB in Southeast Asia, taking its holding to 75%.

2018 saw the launch of the next phase of the Quickening the Pace strategy – “QTP2: driving scale and momentum”. 

In this phase, the Group has deepened its presence in higher growth markets; looked to maximise the scale of existing events; and acquired new platforms for growth.

A key part of this will be continued investment in the Tarsus replication programme, which spreads the success of the Group’s leading brands around the world. 

2019 also has started off with a positive outlook.

“Trading has got off to a good start for the first two months of 2019. Bookings for our larger biennial events, including the Dubai Airshow and Labelexpo Europe, are promising,” Emslie said.

He added. “We are pleased with the strong recovery in bookings for our shows in Turkey and bookings across the portfolio are at the top end of the Group’s target range demonstrating the importance of a diversified portfolio. In addition, our programme of brand replications is steadily augmenting our growth.

Emslie said, “2019 - the larger of the years in our biennial cycle - is shaping up to be another successful one for the Group. Our confidence in the future is reflected in the Board’s recommended 10% full year dividend increase.”

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Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? 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