Global events business Hyve Group plc has reported a Q1 trading update for the period 1 October 2020–21 January 2021, a period during which the group ran eight events and confirmed a further £8.4m in insurance payments.
A highlight of the trading update was the acquisition of Retail Meetup on 21 December 2020, a deal that the Group said was accelerating its omnichannel strategy and encouraging forward bookings for events in March and May 2021.
In the first quarter of FY21 the Group ran eight events, including WorldFood Istanbul, Hyve’s first event held in Turkey since the onset of the pandemic, as well as further events in Russia, Ukraine and China. These events saw good domestic attendance, the Group noted, although the scale was significantly reduced given ongoing international travel restrictions due to Covid-19. The Group has run 20 events now since the onset of the pandemic. Q1 is typically the Group’s smallest quarter by revenue, with fewer events taking place.
While the Group acknowledges the near term continues to remain highly fluid, it says it is encouraged that vaccinations have started in earnest across the major markets in which Hyve operates.
In FY20 the Group secured £22m (US$30.19m) of income from insurance claims. As announced at Hyve’s final results, during Q1 £13.1m of claims related to FY20 events had been received and a further £11.5m of claims had been approved, but not yet paid. The Group has now confirmed that the £11.5m of claim proceeds have been received, taking the total insurance payments received to date to £46.7m. These amounts are in respect of the policies insuring FY20 event cancellations, capped at £62m. The Group has also received confirmation of a further interim payment of £8.4m (£4.5m in respect of certain FY20 events and £3.9m in respect of one FY21 event, with payment awaited).
Hyve added that insurance cover is in place for the cancellation of FY21 events, with potential claims capped at £50m.
Acquisition of Retail Meetup
On 21 December 2020, the Group acquired Retail Meetup for an initial consideration of £18.8m enabling at-scale networking and lead generation with custom-built software by bringing the entire ecommerce ecosystem together online.
Hyve said this remote collaboration proposition is setting a new standard for facilitated networking to conduct business online for the retail and grocery ecommerce industry with proven monetisation. Retail Meetup adds four high quality fully digital events that are expected to be earnings enhancing.
Upcoming Retail Meetup events include: Groceryshop Spring Meetup (9-11 March 2021) and Shoptalk Meetup for Women (11-13 May 2021) to take place in FY21, while Shoptalk Europe Meetup (dates tbc) and Shoptalk Fall Meetup (19-21 October 2021) are scheduled for FY22.
The Group added that it was encouraged that vaccinations had started in earnest across the major markets in which it operates, although it describes the near-term outlook as “fluid”. “We expect continued disruption to our event schedule and a gradual return of customer participation, particularly in western countries,” the Group update said.
Hyve said it had modelled two trading scenarios for FY21. The first, the ‘Recovery’ scenario, assumes that only events in China, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey are able to go ahead in the first half of FY21 but that all events currently scheduled will take place during the second half.
The second scenario, the ‘East-West’’scenario, assumes that no western events will take place throughout the entire year. In both scenarios Hyve said it had “visibility of cash headroom throughout FY21”.
Mark Shashoua (pictured), CEO of Hyve Group plc said: “Hyve enters 2021 with a strong platform to weather the Covide-19 crisis due to the decisive action taken in 2020 to strengthen our financial position, conserve cash, secure substantial insurance payments and, most recently, by accelerating our omnichannel strategy having completed the acquisition of Retail Meetup.
“In Q1 we have been able to run eight events, including our first event held in Turkey since the onset of the pandemic and while it’s encouraging to see the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines have started in earnest across the major markets in which Hyve operates, the near term remains highly fluid.
“We have done everything in our control to position Hyve at the forefront of the recovery. As in-person events continue to return, Hyve’s market-leading events are optimally placed to service the pent-up demand for learning, networking and trading whilst stimulating the global economy. The evolution of our strategy into an omnichannel business has been accelerated through the recent acquisition of Retail Meetup, enabling our customers to learn, network and trade online, presenting an exciting new avenue of growth for Hyve. Retail Meetup combined with our strong financial platform and market-leading in-person events provides us with a springboard to emerge successfully from the pandemic.”
The Hyve Group AGM takes place 21 January 2021.