Earls Court and Olympia owner Capital and Counties (CapCo) has reported a dip in pre-tax earnings across the two venues in its half-yearly financial results.
The company reported pre-tax earnings across the two venues hit £12m in the six months to 30 June 2011, down 9 per cent year-on-year. This result was off like-for-like net properties income of £17.4m, down from £17.9m.
CapCo attributed the drop to reduced revenues and bookings at Earls Court along with strong competition in the exhibition sector. However, 31 new shows contracted over the past six months offset the loss of other events including Landscape, the London Pet Show and Retail Business Technology. Olympia also hosted several successful exhibitions including Upper Street Events’ Move it, which recorded 20,000 visitors in March.
CapCo said 43.2 per cent of budgeted sales have been contracted for 2012. The company also claimed work on Olympia’s new 97,000sqft (9,000sqm) exhibition space in the West Hall continues on schedule and on budget with the new space expected to be operational in early 2012.
CapCo submitted the masterplan application for redevelopment of the 77-acre Earls Court site to London authorities in June and expects public consultation will commence on those shortly. Although the company is optimistic about getting approval, local resident groups have threatened legal action to prevent demolition of their homes on the site. The Association of Event Organisers is also lobbying government to help save the exhibition halls.
“The initial response to the Masterplan has been positive, although there have been concerns voiced by some residents of the West Kensington and Gibbs Green Estates,” CapCo said in its report. “CapCo is committed to working with all local residents and stakeholders, with the consultation website myearlscourt.com offering all stakeholders an opportunity to contribute.”
EC&O and local residents are also battling with Transport for London over plans to cut weekday District Line tube services to Kensington (Olympia).
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