Biennial Shows Contribute to UBM Revenue Growth

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR

London — A timely show calendar helped UBM increase its overall revenues by 16.2% in 2017, it was announced Feb. 28.

Annual income in 2017, presumably the final full year before UBM becomes part of Informa, rose to just over 1 billion pounds. The company’s adjusted operating profit totaled 294.2 million pounds ($411 million), a hefty 25.3% increase over 2016.

“We delivered a strong financial performance in 2017,” CEO Tim Cobbold told analysts in London. “Annual events adjusted underlying revenue growth accelerated to 5.3% with further margin expansion and strong cashflow.”

Biennial events also produced some solid growth, with revenues of 85.5 million pounds ($119.4 million) compared to 28.1 million pounds ($39.3 million) in 2015. The decisive reasons behind the banner year included biennial show rotation and the 2016 acquisition of Allworld Exhibitions and its portfolio, including its biennials HOFEX and Food & Hotel Indonesia.

“We saw excellent growth in Asia in particular and growth in all of our major verticals bar fashion,” Cobbold said.  Fashion primarily reflected North America events, led by the flagship MAGIC brand. The sector’s revenues were down 4.9%, which Cobbold said was due in part to “structural changes” in the fashion industry.

“In the U.S., we have reshaped the Fashion calendar to provide more value for customers,” Cobbold said. “And we’re going to launch a new show that focuses on the new Fashion supply chain.”

The changes were not expected to get the Fashion sector out of first gear this year; however, UBM is expected to come under Informa’s new ownership in the Second Half.

Reach Tim Cobbold at +44 (0) 20 7921 5000 or tim.cobbold@ubm.com