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Informa reports growth against unstable economic backdrop

by Saul Leese

Informa remains resilient against an unstable economic backdrop with continued growth reporting revenues up by 2.8% for the 10 months to 31 October 2019.

The group is on track to meet targets through progressive portfolio management with revenues generated from selling off Industry & Infrastructure Media Brands Portfolio, following on from sale of Life Sciences Media Brands Portfolio and Agribusiness Portfolio, as well as portfolio changes in Informa Connect. The group continues expansion with investment in Founders Forum and the launch of a joint venture with Informa Tech. The company has also issued a new €500m bond, lowering overall cost of debt over five and a half years.

Stephen A. Carter, group chief executive, Informa PLC, said: “After ten months trading in 2019, despite an unpredictable economic/geo-political backdrop, the enlarged Informa Group continues to demonstrate resilience and performance, remaining on track for a sixth consecutive year of growth in underlying revenue, profit, adjusted earnings and cashflow.”

Growth is further attributed to the full integration of the UBM brand into group. November and December are key trading months for Informa accounting for £350m (20%) of revenues with key subscription renewals for Informa Intelligence, Informa Tech and Taylor & Francis. If revenues are achieved the business looks set to grow by 3.5% for 2019.

Sectors showing strong growth include: Health and Nutrition Hospitality, Food & Beverage, Design and Furniture, Fashion, Real Estate and Construction. Other sectors and brands reporting significant growth include Pharma (CPhI Worldwide, Food Ingredients Europe, CPhI India), and Maritime (Marintec, Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show).

Brands servicing specialist markets continue to deliver growth in 2019, increasing from 2.1% after six months to 2.8% after ten months, with strong recent performances in both Global Finance (Finovate Fall, SuperReturn Asia) and Life Sciences (BioProcess International, BioPharm America). Marketing (TMRE) and Life Sciences (BioEurope), are likely meet or beat 2.5% target for the year.

Informa Tech with B2B products and services in events, research, consulting, data and media, a strong position in a range of Technology sub-sectors has annual revenues of close to £300m and portfolio plans growth in all key segments of the market, from Enterprise IT to The Internet of Things, with strong recent performances in Security (Blackhat) and Artificial Intelligence (AI Summit) delivering 10-month underlying revenue growth of 1.7%, against a full year target of 2%.

Following a period of major restructuring and reinvestment at Informa Intelligence, the business is performing consistently, with improving levels of growth in its specialist markets of Pharma, Retail Banking and Maritime, with underlying revenue growth for the 10-month period of 3.1%.

Informa have announced the divestiture of our Industry & Infrastructure Media Brands Portfolio to Endeavor Business Media. These include Industry Week, New Equipment Digest and Machine Design. The sale brings total revenues of businesses sold in the group to £150m.

Taylor & Francis scholarly publishing and specialist refence content has reported 1.8% growth following an improvement programme.

Informa is approaching £3bn in revenues for 2019.

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