The Daily Mail and General Trust’s (DMG) events division has experienced a decline in revenue of 37 per cent to £110m (US$172m), due in large part to its recent divestment of businesses.
The company’s profits also dropped by 19 per cent to £30m, attributed by DMG to the late-cycle nature of exhibitions and the absence of results from two of its three major biennial events, Gastech and Adipec, which had a strong year in 2010. DMG’s sole large international biennial event this year was the Global Petroleum Show, held in Calgary in June.
Business for DMGT elsewhere was mixed, with the group’s underlying operating profit rising by 10 per cent, according to these preliminary figures. Net debt also dropped by £187m to £862m, however revenue for the group declined by six per cent overall.
Throughout the year the company has restructured its events division, which is now organised into five operating units covering retail, energy, leadership conferences, digital marketing sectors and a regional unit in the Middle East.
Its largest show, the bi-annual New York International Gift Fair, had a strong year with the summer edition experiencing year-on-year growth in terms of both visitor attendance and revenue. Other key shows include the construction show Big 5, held in Dubai, and the Global Petroleum Show. Together, these shows contributed 45 per cent of DMG Events’ underlying revenue.
The division claims it has ‘aggressively expanded’ its programme of sponsorship-driven leadership conferences under its Evanta brand, and now offers events for financial and human resource professionals, as well as chief information officers.
Commenting on the results, DMGT chief executive Martin Morgan talked about the company’s move towards digital and online products as route to future growth.
“Although we remain cautious about the medium terms outlook, particularly given continuing economic uncertainties, we are well placed to continue investing in out business to strengthen their market positions and to take advantage of improving conditions as they materialise,” he said. “DMGT has always been a first mover in the media and information industry. We recognise that our future is largely digital, whether it be in the consumer of B2B markets.”