Revenue for the NEC Group, which includes the NEC, Genting Arena, ICC Birmingham and the Ticket Factory, is up £4.4m (2.8 per cent) on the previous year. Earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation (“EBITDA”) were £54.7m, up £4.9m (9.8 per cent).
The results continue consistent growth since the buyout of the Group in 2015, and come as plans for a £4.5m development have been unveiled.
New exhibitions hosted at the NEC for the first time included This Morning Live, The Fit Show and Collectormania, and the group also held its first long-stay event in the exhibition halls, with Dinosaurs in the Wild running over summer 2017.
NEC Group CEO Paul Thandi commented: “This has been another exceptional year as we see further benefits of what is now a proven strategy. We continue to use our market-leading insight drawn from a wealth of customer data to work with promoters and organisers to grow their shows and launch new content.
“We have a clear plan to expand the leisure offer on our sites, building on the success of Resorts World Birmingham and our fantastic range of consumer exhibitions and arena shows. The opening of two new Merlin Entertainments’ attractions later this year will be important milestones in the delivery of that plan.
“Extensive capital investment into our venues – £48m over the last three financial years – has focused on projects that improve customer experience and deliver earnings growth. This programme will continue into the current financial year with major changes to the NEC site as we continue our roll-out of digital screens and deliver a major facelift to our original exhibition halls.
“The whole team at NEC Group has delivered exceptionally over the three years since the buyout of the business. Our order books for events are at record levels and we will continue to develop existing events and introduce new content and leisure attractions – growing our current audiences and creating new ones.
“We are now exceptionally well positioned for further growth and are targeting earnings growth of 10 per cent year on year over the medium term. In addition, we are finalising the Masterplan for the NEC Campus alongside Birmingham City Council that will further enhance the NEC as a leading leisure destination alongside wider commercial use. The team remain excited at the continuing potential of the NEC campus and business.”