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ITE Group plc, the international exhibitions group, is today publishing a trading statement ahead of its interim results for the six months ended 31 March 2016 which will be announced on Monday 9 May 2016.
The Group’s performance for the first six months of the financial year is in line with management expectations.
Revenue for the six month period to 31 March 2016 will be circa £63m (six months to 31 March 2015: £56.1m). On a like-for-like basis, revenue for the period is, as expected, 4% behind the comparative period.
This six month result includes the Breakbulk USA event, Africa Oil Week and the effect of ABEC becoming a subsidiary. These acquisitions together with the positive biennial pattern in the first six months, have helped to offset the challenging trading environment in Russia and Central Asia.
The Group has a flexible cost structure, and management are focused on ensuring that operating costs continue to be managed in line with revenues.
During the period, the Group has retained its focus on building market leading events in its key industry sectors, as well as achieving greater geographic diversification. As previously announced, in January 2016 the Group acquired a 70% stake in Shanghai ITE Ebseek Exhibitions Co Ltd (“ITE Ebseek”), the organiser of industrial fasteners exhibitions in Shanghai and Guangzhou, for consideration of £3.3m, of which £0.9m is deferred and contingent on the performance of the 2016 and 2017 events.
In February 2016, the Group successfully launched AfricaBuild in Lagos, Nigeria. The event was very well received with over 1,000 trade visitors transacting business with 91 exhibitors from 16 countries.
The Group’s balance sheet and operational cash flows remain robust. The Group’s net debt of circa £70m at 31 March 2016 reflects the ITE Ebseek acquisition and the Group continues to operate within its secured debt facilities.
The Group’s like-for-like trading volumes for FY 2016 are circa 9% less than this time last year, and like-for-like revenues are also 9% behind last year’s comparative, both of which are in line with management’s expectations.
The recent recovery in the oil price has helped to strengthen currencies in our oil reliant geographies and at current exchange rates, the Group has contracted £109m of revenue for FY 2016. The Group’s future revenue remains sensitive to Ruble: Sterling exchange rate over the next six months.
The Board continues to monitor the effects of the prevailing economic conditions and remains confident that the Group is well positioned to grow its business in emerging markets.
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.