Home Coronavirus Updates Hyve Group completes Central Asia exit and secures further insurance payments

Hyve Group completes Central Asia exit and secures further insurance payments

by Paul Colston

UK-based exhibition organiser Hyve Group plc has, 8 April, announced a trading update ahead of its interim results for the six months ended 31 March 2021, which will be announced on 18 May 2021.

 

Trading

In the first half of FY21 the Group ran 12 in-person events, held in Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, China and most recently in India. This brings the total number of events run since the onset of the pandemic to 24. Hyve noted that, while domestic attendance remains high, events were running at a significantly reduced scale given the ongoing international travel restrictions in place due to Covid-19.

Revenue for the first half is expected to be approximately £10m; this includes revenue from Groceryshop Spring Meetup which performed 10% ahead of expectations.

 

Groceryshop Spring Meetup

The acquisition of Retail Meetup in December 2020 brought to Hyve a first of its kind commercial proposition, which connects the entire retail and grocery ecosystems and offers opportunities to network and trade, at scale. The Retail Meetup product is a key part of the Group’s omnichannel evolution, providing Hyve with a flagship digital format.

In March 2021, the Group ran its first virtual Meetup event, Groceryshop Spring Meetup. It saw 8,884 online meetings taking place over the three-day event, and Hyve says it proves that online events can both cater to customer needs and be monetised.

In the second half of FY21 the Group has one further Meetup event scheduled, Shoptalk Meetup for Women (11-13 May 2021), with registrations tracking in line with management expectations. Two additional events will follow in FY22, Shoptalk Fall Meetup (19-21 October 2021) and Shoptalk Europe Meetup (dates tbc). Online events are scheduled to be complementary to in-person events, giving Shoptalk and Groceryshop the opportunity to meet customer needs at multiple points through the year.

 

Insurance claims

In March, £15.9m (US$21.8m) of further insurance claims were approved, £5.0m in respect of FY20 events and £10.9m in respect of FY21 events.

In its trading update in January, the Group announced confirmation of a further interim payment of £8.4m which has now been received.

To date insurance proceeds total £71.0m, £22.0m of which Hyve Group received in FY20 and £49.0m of which has been received or confirmed in FY21.

 

Disposal of Kazakhstan events portfolio

Hyve has also announced it has completed the disposal of its events businesses in Central Asia. This process was completed with the disposal of ITECA LLP, the operating company for 25 of the Group’s non-core, regionally focused events in Kazakhstan (now ICA (JV) Limited, a company owned and operated by a former consultant to Hyve in the region).

In the financial year ended 30 September 2020, the Kazakhstan events portfolio had generated revenues of approximately £2.1m and reported an operating loss of approximately £0.6m.

The Group’s expectation for consideration receivable is between £4.8m and £5.8m over a five to seven-year period. Mayfield Merger Strategies acted as an adviser to Hyve on the sale of the Kazakhstan business.

 

Outlook

Hyve is currently trading between the Group’s two modelled scenarios, ‘Recovery’(1) and ‘East West’(2). In either scenario, Hyve maintains its strong liquidity position and has visibility of significant cash headroom throughout FY21 and FY22. H1 2021 net debt is expected to be approximately £92m.

Mark Shashoua (pictured), CEO of Hyve Group plc said the Group had run in-person events in five Eastern markets during the first half, adding: “While the outlook remains fluid, the pace of vaccine roll outs in the UK and US provides optimism that events in Western economies will run in the second half and with growing confidence from calendar year 2022 in line with our recovery scenario.

“The continuing strength of customer rollover for Western events is proving there is pent-up demand that will be fulfilled as and when restrictions are fully lifted.

“We remain active in delivering on our strategic goals, including managing our portfolio, and are pleased to have found a good home for the 25 legacy events in our regional Kazakhstan portfolio; we wish the business success in the future. This concludes a key strategic aim to exit the Central Asia markets.

“Our focus on developing our omnichannel strategy positions Hyve well for recovery as markets re-open. We are focused on driving growth via in-person market-leading events as restrictions lift, and online as we progress the Group’s digital evolution. As a blueprint for future growth, in March we successfully ran our first monetisable virtual Retail Meetup event, Groceryshop Spring Meetup, with exceptional online turnout and engagement, providing a proven model for our next two virtual Meetup events to follow.”

  1. Recovery’ scenario assumes that events in China, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey are able to go ahead in FY21. However, they will be smaller than in previous years with a largely domestic customer base. This scenario assumes that events in western markets will take place during the second half.
  2. ‘East-West’ scenario assumes that no western events take place throughout the year.

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