Events in the UK and emerging markets have helped deliver a strong half-year result for UBM.
According to the company’s half-year report, event revenues reached £233m (US$361.1m) in the six months to 30 June, up 31.6 per cent year-on-year and representing underlying growth of 16.7 per cent. Of this, £14.7m was derived from biennial events.
Operating profit across the events business was also up 29.6 per cent to £74.8m, representing 66.5 per cent of the group’s total. UBM attributed this to a combination of its acquisitions of Ecobuild in the UK, the Malaysia International Furniture Fair and Airport Cities, with good performances across existing shows such as Game Developer Conference, the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Show, CPhI China and Sign China.
Emerging markets accounted for 30.8 per cent of total event revenue, 72 per cent of which was China and 17.1 per cent Southeast Asia. Over the six-month period, UBM launched nine geo-adapted events and increased headcount in Asia by 200 to support growth in the region.
It also made five acquisitions, contributing £4.7m to its first-half sales. The financial report revealed a 31.3 per cent rise in stand revenue year-on-year to £153.6m, with sponsorship and other revenues increasing 30.1 per cent to £39.8m.
Over the past six months, UBM hosted 225 events including 170 trade shows, attracting 30,500 exhibitors across 713,350sqm, up 23 per cent year-on-year. These events brought in 1.196m visitors, 34.1 per cent more than its 2011 first-half.
Across the total company, UBM reported a 7.3 per cent lift in revenue to £508.7m, representing underlying growth of 6.8 per cent.
UBM CEO David Levin highlighted the importance of its events portfolio and pointed to its attendee-led technology events in the US, Ecobuild’s strong debut in the UK under UBM ownership and solid results in emerging markets as key contributors to growth.
“We have had a good first-half of the year with underlying revenue growth of 6.8 per cent and margins up almost a percentage point to 20.3 per cent,” Levin said. “Our strategy is yielding positive results as we continue to improve the quality of the business.”
UBM said it remained on track to meet full-year expectations with underlying growth across its events business of 12-14 per cent and operating profit margins of between 31 and 32 per cent.
Like his counterparts at Informa, which also announced its half-yearly results this week, Levin added UBM remained mindful of the risks to the wider macroeconomic environment, particularly in Europe.
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