24/01/2019
Q1 trading update in line with expectations


ITE Group plc
("ITE" or the "Group")
Trading update

 
ITE Group plc is today publishing a trading update for the period from 1 October 2018 to the date of this announcement, incorporating the Group’s first quarter trading period from 1 October 2018 to 31 December 2018. This coincides with the Group's Annual General Meeting which is being held at 9am today.

First quarter trading update
The Group’s performance in the quarter was in line with management expectations.

Revenues on a like-for-like1 basis were 6% ahead of the comparative quarter reflecting strong underlying trading, partially offset by temporary venue capacity constraints at Acetech Delhi, as previously signalled. Excluding Acetech Delhi, our like-for-like revenue growth is 10%.

As anticipated, revenues for the quarter were circa £31.5m (three months to 31 December 2017: £40.7m). The decrease was largely due to this being the smaller biennial quarter and the absence of the non-core events in Russia, which were divested in early October 2018.

During the period, three of our Top 10 events2 ran in the quarter – Africa Oil Week (“AOW”), YugAgro, and Acetech Mumbai – and together these grew double-digit on a like-for-like basis. This was driven by the TAG investment in AOW and YugAgro.

TAG programme and Ascential events integration
The TAG programme continues to progress according to plan and we remain focussed on the implementation of the new global CRM and People systems across the business.  

The integration of the Ascential Events business is nearing completion and is on schedule. The investment plans to drive growth into FY20 remain on track, with a continuing confidence in realising the synergies.

Managing the portfolio
We continue to actively manage our portfolio, to enable the Group to focus both management time and investment on our key events. In December we closed our Siberian operation, which ran 17 non-core events in FY18. The revenues of these events totalled £2.6m in FY18, and made a small loss. The region had consistently made losses in the last four years.

Financial position
The acquisition of Mining Indaba was completed during the quarter and upfront consideration of £20m settled. In addition, continued TAG investment in the period, the Ascential Events integration costs and strong operating cash conversion resulted in net debt as at 31 December 2018 of circa £108m, an increase of circa £20m since 30 September 2018 (31 December 2017: £52m) and in line with our expectations.

Outlook
We continue to benefit from the investments into products and operational improvements, despite some well-documented headwinds, including macro-economic issues in Turkey, tensions between Ukraine and Russia, Brexit and currency movements. These benefits are most clearly illustrated in our forward bookings, which were circa £164m of revenue for FY 2019, as at 18 January 2019 (19 January 2018: £113m) representing circa 75% of market expectations for the full year. On a like-for-like basis, these revenues are 8% ahead of this time last year, reflecting the strong revenue growth at a number of our big events, most notably Africa Oil Week.

The Board is pleased with the Group's performance, which is in line with expectations.

Notes to Editors
1. Like-for-like results are stated on a constant currency basis, after excluding events which took place in the current period but did not take place under our ownership in the comparative period and after excluding events which took place in the comparative period but did not take place under our ownership in the current period. This excludes all:
- Biennial events;
- Timing differences (i.e. events that ran in only one of the current or comparative periods, due to changes in the event dates);
- Launches;
- Cancelled or disposed of events that did not take place under our ownership in the current year;
- Acquired events in the current period; and
- Acquired events in the comparative period that didn't take place under our ownership in the comparative period (i.e. they took place pre-acquisition).
2. Top 10 Events – these are defined as the Top 10 events by revenue prior to the acquisition of Ascential Events Limited and Mining Indaba.


For further information please contact:

ITE Group plc
Melissa McVeigh, Director of Communications
+44 (0)20 7596 5000

FTI Consulting
Charles Palmer/Harry Staight
+44 (0)20 3727 1000


About ITE Group plc
ITE Group plc was founded in 1991 and is now one of the world’s leading organisers of international exhibitions and conferences.

ITE Group’s strategic vision is to create the world’s leading portfolio of content-driven, must-attend events delivering an outstanding experience and ROI for our customers. In May 2017 the Group launched its Transformation & Growth (TAG) programme, which is designed to transform the Company from a geographic-led business to a product-led business that focuses on market-leading events, wherever they are in the world. ITE strives to run the best shows and offer the best service to its customers throughout the world regardless of location. By putting exhibitors and visitors at the heart of everything we do, we plan to drive sustainable growth for our shareholders.

ITE Group is a public limited company and has been listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange since 1998.

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