In its nine-month interim earnings report for 2012, UBM continued to show growth in its events operation while the marketing services and data services groups struggled. Total revenue for the first three quarters was up four percent to $1.2 billion and operating profits rose 11 percent to about $229 million.
"Events growth continues as expected with good growth in our large Q3 events, particularly in China, and we continue to invest to strengthen our global events business," says UBM CEO David Levin in a statement.
Levin acknowledged the softness in the marketing services and data services groups. According to the company’s report, print-related declines were to blame for a combined print-online revenue decline of 17 percent in its marketing services group.
Breaking out print and online revenues in that group shows online up 6 percent, while year-to-date print revenues fell a whopping 33 percent, which, says the company, reflects jettisoned or sold print titles and a soft advertising market. "Underlying revenues were down 14.5 percent as a result of continued declines in advertising and general marketing spend, notably in technology, pharmaceutical and construction industries," says the company in the report.
Accordingly, UBM is anticipating marketing services revenues to be flat for the full year.
Data services revenues fell 11 percent compared to the same period in 2011. That revenue decline and a modest outlook has prompted the company to undertake a strategic review of the segment—a plan that it announced at the half-year mark—which it expects to complete in 2013.
Events, as Levin noted, are performing well. Revenues are up 22 percent compared to the first three quarters in 2011 and forward bookings for the company’s top 20 annual shows were up 15 percent at the end of the third quarter.
Separately, the company announced it took a 70 percent equity stake in EFEM, a Turkey-based show organizer targeting the baby products market. The deal signals the formation of a joint venture with EFEM, which will be called UBM ICC and will result in the production of eight events in Turkey in 2013, three of which will be new events.
Regions like Turkey are becoming increasingly important for UBM. Last year, the company says it generated 40 percent of its event revenues from emerging markets.