Reed Exhibitions’s 2011 launch spree has been accompanied by a return to form for the world’s largest organiser, posting 10 per cent revenue growth and creating 43 new events.
Despite a shortfall resulting from biennial cycling, underlying revenue grew 10 per cent, with growth in all geographic sectors. New launch activity was accelerated, with the firm making a number of selective acquisitions which have increased its presence in high growth markets.
Including biennial cycling, underlying revenues and adjusted operating profits were flat and up two per cent respectively.
In Europe, underlying revenue grew six per cent, excluding biennial cycling, with the television programming show Mipcom and retail real estate event Mapic performing particularly well. Real estate event Mipim, the organiser’s largest individual show also returned to growth after experiencing a decline in 2010.
In North America, Reed’s underlying revenues grew 16 per cent, excluding cycling, with strong performances across a wide range of events. Outside Europe and North America, underlying revenue growth was 13 per cent, excluding biennial events, including particularly strong growth in China, Brazil, Russia and the Middle East.
In an effort to capitalise on regional growth, Reed Exhibitions’ accelerated its launch activity in 2011, leveraging its regional subdivisions and technology platforms to create 43 new events. The majority of these were in faster growing markets and sectors.
In addition to new launches, Reed Exhibitions made a number of small complementary acquisitions during the year including Multiplus, serving the biofuels industry, and Expo Seguridad, extending its security sector portfolio into Latin America.
In January 2012 Reed Exhibitions took full ownership of its joint venture Alcantara Machado, the Brazilian exhibition organiser. In addition to expanding its presence in this high-growth market, this will help reduce the revenue impact of biennial cycling in future years.
Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) last year announced the acquisition of Business Travel Market (BTM), the annual corporate travel conference and exhibition held at Excel London.
Efforts to rein in costs while funding the increased launch programme resulted in a one per cent reduction in underlying costs. The adjusted operating margin was 0.8 per cent higher than 2010 at 23.6 per cent.
The organiser claims revenues will benefit from a net cycling in of biennial events this year. To date, Reed has experienced good performances from annual shows, albeit with some signs of softness in European markets. Commenting on the continuing Eurozone crisis, a spokesman said the company “remains alert to how changes in the macro economic environment may impact customer sentiment as the year progresses, particularly in Europe”.
Erik Engstrom, CEO of Reed Exhibitions parent company Reed Elsevier, said: "2011 was a year of good progress both strategically and financially. Organic development remains at the core of our strategy and in 2011 we increased our investment and accelerated new product launches, focusing on the provision of information solutions that demonstrably improve the economics of our professional and business customers.
“The macro economic outlook remains uncertain,” he added, “but by delivering highly valued products and services to our professional customers, and a relentless focus on process efficiency, we expect to deliver another year of underlying revenue and profit growth in 2012."
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