Pre-close trading update
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ITE Group plc, the international exhibitions group specialising in emerging and developing markets, has today issued the following update for the year ended 30 September 2015, prior to entering its close period and ahead of its preliminary results announcement on 1 December 2015.
The Group’s performance in Q4 was in line with expectations and management expectations for the full year remain unchanged. Revenues for FY 2015 are expected to be circa £136m (2014: £174m). On a like-for like basis this represents a decrease of 14%.
Fourth Quarter Trading
Revenues in the three month period to 30 September 2015 were circa £23m (2014: £29m) and reflect the ongoing relative weakness of the Ruble against our reporting currency and the challenging trading conditions in Russia. On a like-for-like basis revenues are down by 1%, aided by a good performance in Turkey and some successful new launches.
Highlights in this quarter include World Food Moscow, the Group’s leading food exhibition, which performed very well in extremely difficult trading conditions recording a 12% decrease in space sales to 22,600sqm. Visitor numbers continued to be strong and improved by a further 1% on the previous edition.
The Group remains in a strong financial position with net debt of circa £55m as at 24 September 2015 (2014: £15m) after spending £56m on acquisitions, and continues to operate comfortably within its £100m facility.
As at 25 September 2015, the Group had booked circa £48m of revenue for the 2016 financial year (2015: £60m), representing circa 34% (2015: 34%) of current market expectations which is 9% below the prior year on a like-for-like basis.
Trading conditions in Russia and more recently the central Asian states, continue to be challenging. Whilst the Group has seen some stability in Russian trading conditions, the impact of lower oil prices and domestic currency weakness is being reflected in our forward bookings. As anticipated, the H1 bookings for 2016 will be more impacted than H2, as H1 2015 comparatives do not fully reflect the current trading conditions in Russia and Central Asia. The Group’s other regions, which now account for over 40% of ITE’s business are trading well.
The Group continues to generate good cash flows whilst continuing to diversify its business into new geographies.
Where used, like-for-like measures are stated on a constant currency basis adjusted to exclude acquisitions impacting results for the first time, event timing differences and biennial events.