UBM events rebounded from a tough first quarter, but still experienced year-over-year losses in the first half of 2013.
Revenues for events—the largest of three divisions within the global media conglomerate—dipped 1.1 percent to $336 million, while profits fell more than 14 percent to $96 million.
“As highlighted at the [interim management statement] in April, challenging market conditions, particularly in the U.K. construction sector, meant we had a tough first quarter,” says David Levin, CEO of UBM, in a statement. “A good second quarter substantially offset the Q1 performance, thanks in large part to healthy growth at our shows in China. With continued strong forward booking trends for our H2 emerging markets events we feel confident about the second half.”
Emerging markets have become a critical piece of the company’s events strategy—the largest piece, in fact. The segment—comprised primarily of shows in China—now accounts for more than 37 percent of total annual event revenues. At $122 million, emerging markets bypassed North America ($114 million) as the highest-earning geographic region.
Across borders, UBM’s annual events posted a 3.3-percent revenue gain, bringing in $324 million. Total square footage (up 8.4 percent to 2.5 million sq. ft.) and attendance (up 11.9 percent to 1.3 million) mirrored the earnings increase.
Significant losses in biennial events dragged down the group figures as a whole however. Though biennial shows account for just 3 to 4 percent of total event revenues, a $15 million (53 percent) loss was enough to bring the entire segment into negative territory.
UBM notes that it expects a “biennial uplift coming through in the final quarter.”
For all business divisions, total revenue for the company fell 1.5 percent to $598 million and adjusted operating profits dropped 9 percent to $123 million.