Euromoney Institutional Investor, the publisher and exhibitions organiser, kept the top line growing in the first half of its financial year despite the depressed state of the advertising market.
Once the numbers are totted up, group revenues for the six months to March 31st, 2012 are expected to show an increase of 13% to £189m. Underlying revenues, excluding the impact of last year's acquisition of Ned Davis Research (NDR), increased by around 5%.
Headline subscription revenues are expected to have increased by 22%, and accounted for 53% of the group's revenues for the period, up from 49% in the corresponding period the year before. Underlying subscription revenues, excluding NDR, increased by some 7%.
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Advertising revenues are expected to be down 8% year-on-year at £25.0m, reflecting the continuing uncertainty and volatility in financial markets, with global financial institutions exerting tighter controls over headcount and marketing costs.
Delegate revenues at the halfway point rose by 19% from a year earlier to £41.0m, boosted by timing differences on events and the impact of the political unrest in the Middle East on delegate bookings last year.
Adjusted profit before tax at the interim stage is expected to come in at £E47m or more, up from interim profits the year before of £41.6m. The adjusted operating margin is expected to be unchanged at 30%.
Group net debt at the end of March will be around £90m at most, down from £119.2m at September 30th, 2011. The reduction in net debt largely reflects the continued strong operating cash flows of the group. The only significant capital outflow in the period was £5.7m for the acquisition of the Global Grain event business in February.
Looking ahead, the third quarter of the financial year is the key period for the events business and the group is confident of putting on a good show. On the downside, the recent sales trends suggest that it will have a hard time sucking in the advertising business. However, overall, trading remain in line with the board's expectations.
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