Informa has reported its first-half revenue rose 8.6 per cent to £618.8m, with the business’s global exhibition portfolio a standout performer contributing to a pre-tax profit of £121.9m, up from £100.2m.
Informa’s share price rose almost seven per cent after the announcement.
Informa group chief executive Stephen Carter (pictured) said the group’s underlying revenue growth of two per cent reflected its two strongest performing businesses; global exhibitions and academic publishing.
Carter announced Charlie McCurdy would succeed retiring global exhibitions chief executive Will Morris, while headlining plans to review Informa’s continental European conference business, part of its knowledge and networking division.
“The goal is a simple one: which is to progressively return all of the businesses in the group to growth,” Carter told an investor briefing.
Profits for Informa’s knowledge and networking division were down 6.4 per cent year-on-year to £116.2m, with adjusted operating profit down 18.4 per cent to £17.7m.
“We did make some changes last year, we reversed out of our businesses in South Africa and Melbourne and we are now going to look at what the mid-term options are for us in our continental European business,” Carter said.
He added that Informa would focus on branded events and conferences within the UK, US, Middle East and Africa within three core verticals; life sciences, technology media and telecoms, and financial services.
Meanwhile, first-half revenue for the group’s global exhibition portfolio rose 38 per cent to £168.8m, with operating profits up 60.7 per cent to £77.8m.
The group’s portfolio of more than 150 exhibitions, accounted for 27 per cent of group revenue and 41 per cent of adjusted operating profit. The portfolio includes core verticals health and nutrition, beauty, property and construction and pop culture.
“Performance and progress in the business, combined with our International expansion is beginning to deliver results.
“Our strategy of measured change and our improving operational capabilities allow us to raised the interim dividend, fully fund our investment programme and commit to our growth ambitions for the full year,” Carter said.
Informa will pay a £6.55 interim dividend, up 2.3 per cent.
As part of a £70-90m growth programme, of which about £12m has been spent or committed, Informa’s first-half acquisitions included real estate and construction trade show Dwell, pop-culture event Orlando Megacon and US Beauty & Aesthetics Exhibition. More acquisitions are expected to follow.
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