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ITE Group PLC (ITE)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Monday 21 May, 2007

ITE Group PLC

Interim Results

ITE Group PLC
21 May 2007

21 May 2007

                                 ITE GROUP PLC
                          INTERIM RESULTS ANNOUNCEMENT


Highlights
                                                        Six months ended     Six months ended         % Change
                                                           31 March 2007        31 March 2006

Revenue                                                           £31.3m               £26.2m              19%

Headline pre-tax profit*                                           £5.5m                £3.7m              48%

Reported Profit before tax                                          4.8m                 3.0m              60%

Headline diluted earnings per share*                                1.5p                 1.0p              50%

Diluted earnings per share                                          1.3p                 0.8p              64%

Dividend per share                                                  1.3p                 1.0p              30%



  • Impressive growth in sales and headline profits reflects strong demand in
    core markets
  • Like for like Revenue up 14%
  • Like for like Headline profit before tax up 30%
  • New ten year venue agreement in Kazakhstan to 2017
  • Rolling on-market share buyback programme from free cashflow
  • Interim dividend up 30% to 1.3p reflecting prospects and surplus cash
  • Board are confident of prospects for the full year
  • Forward sales for full year 2007 up 15%+ on a like for like basis



Commenting on the results, Iain Paterson, Chairman, said:

'The Group has delivered a strong financial and operating performance.  The
results reflect our ability to leverage our market leading positions in Russia
and the CIS where our exhibitions have enjoyed significant growth. We have built
a strong presence in our core markets.  We expect to continue to grow our
business against a background of robust domestic economies, expanding venue
space and strong demand for exhibitions. The second half year has commenced
ahead of expectations and the Board remains positive and confident of the
prospects for the 2007 financial year.'

* Headline pre-tax profit is defined as profit before tax, amortisation of
intangible assets arising on business combinations and impairment of goodwill
and intangible assets and profits or losses arising on disposal of group
undertakings - see the Income Statement for details

Headline diluted earnings per share is calculated using profit before
amortisation of intangible assets arising on business combinations and
impairment of goodwill and intangible assets and profits or losses arising on
disposal of group undertakings.




Enquiries:
Ian Tomkins                    ITE Group plc                      020 7596 5000
Charles Palmer/Tim Spratt      Financial Dynamics                 020 7831 3113



                                 ITE Group plc

              Interim Statement for six months ended 31 March 2007

Overview
ITE's results for the first six months of the financial year reflect strong
trading conditions in the Group's core markets of Russia and the CIS.  Revenue
of £31.3m is 19% ahead of the same period last year and headline pre-tax profit
of £5.5m is 48% ahead of last year's headline pre-tax profit of £3.7m. This
year's first half results have been skewed by the Ukraine International Travel &
Tourism event taking place in March instead of April. After adjusting for this
and for acquisitions, the Group reported like for like revenue growth of 14% and
a like for like 30% improvement in headline pre-tax profit for the first half.
Reported pre-tax profit for the six months was £4.7m (2006: £3.0m).

The trading environment in Russia and the CIS continues to be resoundingly
buoyant and most of ITE's major exhibitions have enjoyed strong growth. The
business in Central Asia and Caucasus has performed particularly well in the
first six months of the year and the Moscow exhibition business, which is second
half weighted, has now completed its busy April calendar with results that
suggest the full year result for Moscow will exceed our original expectations.

The Group has continued to focus efforts on the organic growth and development
of ITE's business in its core markets.  ITE has recently announced that it has
signed a new 10 year agreement with Atakent (Almaty, Kazakhstan) extending its
venue exclusivity rights and agreeing tenancy rates until the end of 2017.
Additionally, ITE has financially assisted further expansion of the exhibition
facilities at Atakent, by making an additional prepayment of US$1.5m to support
the construction of a new pavilion at the venue.

The Group's strategy includes the acquisition of appropriate bolt-on events to
supplement the strong organic growth of the existing business. However if
appropriate opportunities are not available then the Board remains committed to
returning surplus cash to shareholders via dividends and the buyback of shares.
As at 31 March 2007 the Group's balance sheet recorded net assets of £40.3m
(2006: £30.1m) and net cash balances of £37.4m (2006: £14.9m). Given the
continued strength of the Group's balance sheet it is the Board's intention, to
pursue a rolling share buyback programme financed by the free cash flow of the
business after dividends, and within the limits already approved by
shareholders. ITE acquired 1.5m shares at £1.60 each on 30 March, which have
since been cancelled.

Board and Management

Further to the announcement that Ian Tomkins wishes to step down by the end of
2007, the Nomination Committee has been working closely with a recruitment
consultant. The process of selecting a new Chief Executive for the Group is well
advanced.

Dividend

The Board has approved an interim dividend of 1.3p per share (2006: 1.0p per
share).  The increase in the interim dividend reflects both the Board's
confidence in ITE's trading prospects and the high level of cash balances held
by the Group at 31 March 2007.

Financial Performance

Revenue for the first half increased 14% on a like for like basis compared to
last year.

Gross profit margins achieved over the first six months of 38% are consistent
with last year's gross profit margins for the same period.

Operating profits of £4.2m (2006: £2.6m) are stated after administrative costs
of £8.0m (2006: £7.4m) which include a £0.8m charge for amortisation of
intangible assets (2006: £0.7m).  Costs associated with the re-location of the
Moscow office to larger premises had a small impact on the administrative costs
for the first six months. Net administrative costs for the first six months
include £0.3m of foreign exchange gains (2006: £0.1m foreign exchange gain).

Finance income of £0.9m reflects higher average cash balances and rising
interest rates. Last year's comparable figure of £0.6m included £0.2m of fair
value adjustments.

Headline pre-tax profits for the first half were up 48% to £5.5m (2006:  £3.7m),
which on a like for like basis represents a 30% improvement in headline pre-tax
profit.

Trading Highlights and Review of Operations

In the six months to 31 March 2007 ITE organised 62 events (2006: 52 events)
including six new launch events.  Total square metres sold were 163,100m(2)
(2006: 123,100m(2)). A summary analysis of the Group's sales and margins from
its exhibitions business is set out below:


                                              Square                       Gross
                                              Metres       Revenue        Profit
                                                '000            £m            £m


First half 2006                                123.1          25.3           9.6
Timing differences                               9.9           1.3           0.6
Acquisitions                                     2.3           0.4           0.1
Net organic growth                              27.8           3.4           1.4

                                               _____          ____          ____
First half 2007                                163.1          30.4          11.7
                                               _____          ____          ____


The Group's overall yield for the six month period is £186 per m(2) (£206 per m
(2) for the same period last year). This change is largely attributable to the
impact of growth in the low yielding AgriHort event in Ukraine, though the
decline in the $US also had an impact on both revenue and direct costs in
Central Asia. In the full year the impact of the weaker $US will be less, given
the predominance of Euro priced business in the second half.


Russia

ITE's Russian business continues to experience strong demand, particularly in
Moscow.  For the first half of the year space sales were 9% ahead of last year's
performance and yields 1% higher.  The principal events taking place in Russia
over the first six months of the year all performed in line with expectations.
Ingredients Russia and TransRussia both delivered space sales growth of circa
10% over last year's events. The Moscow International Travel and Tourism event
performed well despite competition and delivered an improvement in yield of 5%
which covered a reduction in space sales of 4%.  Other notable successes were
the integration of Expoclean which was acquired in June 2006, and the successful
re-location of Pharmtech to an alternative venue.

Central Asia & the Caucasus

Over the first six months space sales in Central Asia and the Caucasus were 33%
higher than for the same period last year.  Yields were a net 4% lower
reflecting the effect of a weaker $US in which prices for this region are
normally based.

The Kazakhstan Oil and Gas exhibition was released from space constraints and
grew into the new pavilion 10, the construction of which was funded by ITE. It
increased its space sales by 20% to 9,600m(2) (2005: 7,900m(2)) and the
conference also enjoyed a 10%+ increase in revenues. The portfolio of events in
Central Asia and the Caucasus reported good growth across all sectors.
Specifically, Kazbuild Spring consolidated its strong launch and grew by 20%,
reflecting the continuing strength of the construction industry in Central Asia.
World Food Kazakhstan grew by over 40% but notably more than doubled its profit,
reflecting the incremental profitability of events once they achieve critical
mass. Other strong performances were BakuBuild and BakuTel in Azerbaijan and
Uzbuild in Uzbekistan which from a modest base all delivered growth in excess of
30% over last year's comparable events.

Southern and Eastern Europe

The Kyiv business reported space sales 70% higher than for the same period last
year. The two main influences were the significant growth of its AgriHort event
and a change in dates of the travel event, Ukraine International Travel and
Tourism, which brought it into the first half of the year. Ukraine International
Travel and Tourism performed well and delivered growth of 10% over last year.
AgriHort grew into the new 3rd pavilion at IEC with space sales of over 16,000m
(2) (2006: 9,500m2).  Public Health which was acquired in 2004 delivered space
sales 23% up on the prior year performance. On a like for like basis space sales
for the Ukraine business were 39% improved over last year, but the low yields of
the AgriHort event led to a reduction on a comparable basis of 24% in average
yields.

The wholly owned business in Istanbul, Turkey recorded satisfying growth in
volumes and yields from a low base. However the performance of our associate
company in Turkey, ITF, has been disappointing.  The result for the first half
is a small improvement on last year's result but this is not expected to be
maintained over the full year.

UK and Rest of the World

The Spring MODA Fashion and Footwear exhibition held in February 2007 grew in
space terms over last year's equivalent event by 3% though revenues were
unchanged.  The growth was mostly in the Footwear sector which is benefiting
from its inclusion in the MODA portfolio. The Publishing business delivered
results marginally behind last year, which was in line with our expectations and
realistically reflects the difficult market conditions.

ITE's partnership with Sonatrach in Algeria delivered a successful Oil and Gas
exhibition and conference in Oran. Further initiatives in Algeria are in
progress.

Outlook

Since 31 March 2007 the Group has organised several of its most important
exhibitions for the full financial year.  In April ITE's flagship events
Mosbuild and Mosbuild+ sold 85,000m(2) (2006: 68,300m(2)) representing overall
growth of circa 25%. Most of the growth was in the Mosbuild+ event at Crocus
which also improved its yield. At Expocentr a newly constructed pavilion was
completed earlier than originally scheduled and released space constraints on
the Mosbuild event. The Moscow International Boat Show successfully re-located
to another venue and grew to 8,700m2 (2006: 7,900m2). Moscow International
Protection and Security grew by 10% to 6,700m2 and having reached capacity at
its venue is re-locating next year. Expoelectronica consolidated last year's
re-location and improved its yield and profitability.

Looking ahead the availability of extra space at Expocentr has improved the
prospects for sales of Moscow International Oil and Gas (June 2007) and World
Food Moscow which is due to take place in September this year.

Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus and Ukraine are enjoying robust growth in
all sectors of their economies. The exhibition industry in the Group's key
markets is set for further growth based upon continuing good prospects for the
domestic economies, expanding venue space and strong demand for exhibitions.

At 11 May 2007 ITE has booked revenue of £85.8m for the full year.  This
represents a 15%+ increase on a like for like basis over the same period last
year.  The second half has started well with the Moscow events held since 31
March performing ahead of expectations and the Board remains positive and
confident of the prospects for the 2007 financial year.


Iain Paterson                       Ian Tomkins
Chairman                            Chief Executive




Consolidated Income Statement
                                                     Six months to   Six months to    Year ended 30
                                                     31 March 2007   31 March 2006   September 2006
                                                         Unaudited       Unaudited          Audited
                                                 Notes        £000            £000             £000
Continuing operations
Revenue                                                     31,277          26,175           82,368
Cost of sales                                             (19,243)        (16,236)         (43,885)
                                                         __________      __________      __________
Gross profit                                                12,034           9,939           38,483
Other operating income                                         123             145              278
     Administrative expenses before amortisation           (7,159)         (6,669)         (14,112)
     Amortisation of acquired intangibles            1       (794)           (733)          (1,330)
Total administrative expenses                              (7,953)         (7,402)         (15,442)
Profit on disposal of group undertakings                         -               -              158
Share of results of associate                                 (23)            (71)              564
                                                         __________      __________      __________
Operating profit                                             4,181           2,611           24,041
Finance income                                       3         872             641            1,368
Finance costs                                                (312)           (285)            (621)
                                                         __________      __________      __________
Profit on ordinary activities before taxation                4,741           2,967           24,788
Tax                                                  5     (1,433)           (928)          (7,351)
                                                         __________      __________      __________
Profit for the period from continuing operations             3,308           2,039           17,437
                                                         __________      __________      __________
Attributable to:
      Equity holders of the parent                           3,327           2,022           17,401
      Minority interests                                      (19)              17               36
                                                         __________      __________      __________
                                                             3,308           2,039           17,437
                                                         __________      __________      __________

Earnings per share (p)
Basic                                                6         1.3             0.8              6.9
Diluted                                              6         1.3             0.8              6.7
                                                          __________      __________      __________



The results stated above relate to continuing activities of the Group.


Consolidated Balance Sheet                                                            30 September
                                                       31 March 2007  31 March 2006           2006
                                                   Notes   Unaudited      Unaudited        Audited
                                                                £000           £000           £000
Non-current assets
Goodwill                                                      34,391         32,705         34,406
Other intangible assets                                        5,021          5,689          5,869
Property, plant & equipment                                    1,415          1,234          1,269
Investments in associates                                      1,446          1,033          1,438
Venue advances and other loans                                 2,588          3,180          3,015
Deferred tax asset                                             2,323          1,797          2,022
                                                          ___________    ___________    ___________
                                                              47,184         45,638         48,019
Current assets
Trade and other receivables                             7     26,994         29,345         29,594
Cash and cash equivalents                                     43,656         22,601         31,883
                                                          ___________    ___________    ___________
                                                              70,650         51,946         61,477

Total assets                                                 117,834         97,584        109,496

Current liabilities
Bank overdraft                                               (6,237)        (7,749)       (10,717)
Trade and other payables                                7   (66,739)       (55,718)       (50,711)
Provisions                                                   (1,025)          (535)          (907)
                                                          ___________    ___________    ___________
                                                            (74,001)       (64,002)       (62,335)
Non-current liabilities
Provisions                                                   (1,284)        (1,902)        (1,367)
Deferred tax liabilities                                     (2,215)        (1,549)        (2,145)
                                                          ___________    ___________    ___________
                                                             (3,499)        (3,451)        (3,512)

Total liabilities                                           (77,500)       (67,453)       (65,847)

                                                          ___________    ___________    ___________
Net assets                                                    40,334         30,131         43,649
                                                          ___________    ___________    ___________
Capital and reserves
Called-up share capital                                        2,609          2,607          2,609
Share premium account                                            727            558            698
Merger reserve                                                 2,746          2,746          2,746
Capital redemption reserve                                       291            291            291
ESOT reserve                                                 (1,658)        (3,021)        (3,016)
Retained earnings                                             38,795         25,861         40,555
Own shares held                                              (3,566)              -        (1,142)
Hedge and translation reserve                                    390            878            889
                                                          ___________    ___________    ___________
Equity attributable to equity holders of the parent           40,334         29,920         43,630
                                                          ___________    ___________    ___________
Minority interests                                                 -            211             19
                                                          ___________    ___________    ___________
Total equity                                                  40,334         30,131         43,649
                                                          ___________    ___________    ___________





Consolidated Cash Flow Statement
                                                Six months to    Six months   Year ended 30
                                                     31 March   to 31 March       September 
                                                         2007          2006            2006
                                             Notes  Unaudited     Unaudited         Audited
                                                         £000          £000            £000
Cash flows from operating activities
Operating profit from continuing operations             4,181         2,611          24,041
Adjustments for:
Depreciation and amortisation                           1,065           987           1,895
Other non-cash expenses                                   791           102             208
Share of associate (profit)/loss                           23            71           (564)
Gain on disposal of subsidiary                              -             -           (158)
Increase/(decrease) in provisions                         202          (22)           (213)
                                                     __________    __________     __________
Operating cash flows before movements in working        6,262         3,749          25,209
capital
Decrease/(increase) in receivables                      2,819         (961)           (233)
Increase in payables                                   15,274        14,767           9,244
                                                     __________    __________     __________
Cash generated from operations                         24,355        17,555          34,220
Tax paid                                              (3,294)       (4,352)         (9,064)
Venue advances and loans                                (728)       (6,773)         (7,422)
                                                     __________    __________     __________
Net cash from operating activities                     20,333         6,430          17,734

Investing activities
Interest received                                         872           409             925
Dividends received from associates                          -           322             422
Acquisition of Intangibles                              (133)       (1,061)         (3,026)
Purchase of property, plant & equipment                 (293)         (226)           (422)
                                                     __________    __________     __________
Net cash used in investing activities                    446          (556)         (2,101)

Financing activities
Dividends paid                                        (6,316)       (4,623)         (7,143)
Interest paid                                           (312)         (285)           (621)
Net cash flow in relation to ESOT shares                1,811           541             541
Purchase of own shares                                      -             -         (1,142)
Proceeds from issue of share capital                       11           510             634
                                                     __________    __________     __________
Net cash flows from financing activities              (4,806)       (3,857)         (7,731)

Net increase in cash and cash equivalents              15,973         2,017           7,902

Net cash and cash equivalents at beginning of          21,166        13,019          13,019
period
Effect of foreign exchange rates                          280         (184)             245
                                                     __________    __________     __________
Net cash and cash equivalents at end of period    8    37,419        14,852          21,166
                                                     __________    __________     __________




                                                         31 March 2007    31 March 2006  30 September 2007
                                                                  £000            £000                £000
Comprised of:
Cash and cash equivalents                                       43,656          22,601              31,833
Bank overdrafts                                                (6,237)         (7,749)            (10,717)
                                                             __________      __________          __________
                                                                37,419          14,852              21,166
                                                             __________      __________          __________



Consolidated Statement of Recognised Income and Expense
                                                           Six months to 31   Six months to      Year ended 30
                                                                 March 2007   31 March 2006     September 2006
                                                                  Unaudited       Unaudited            Audited
                                                                       £000            £000               £000

Currency translation on net investment in subsidiary                  (276)              78              (197)
undertakings
(Loss)/gain on cash flow hedge                                         (18)               -                356
Tax on items taken directly to equity                                     -               -                159
                                                                  __________        __________      __________
Net (expense)/income recognised directly in equity                    (294)              78                318

Transferred to profit or loss on cash flow hedges                     (202)               -               (22)
Implementation of IAS 39                                                  -               -              (500)
Profit for the period attributable to the                             3,308           2,039             17,437
shareholders
                                                                  __________        __________      __________
Total recognised income and expense for the period                    2,812           2,117             17,233
                                                                  __________        __________      __________

Attributable to:
     Equity holders of the parent                                     2,831           2,100             17,197
     Minority interests                                                (19)              17                 36
                                                                  __________        __________      __________
                                                                      2,812           2,117             17,233
                                                                  __________        __________      __________




Notes



1.         The interim results have been prepared in accordance with IFRS that
the directors expect to be applicable as at 30 September 2007.  IFRS are subject
to amendment or interpretation by the International Accounting Standards Board
and there is an ongoing process of review and endorsement by the European
Commission.


The financial information for the period ended 31 March 2007 is unaudited and
does not constitute statutory accounts as defined by Section 240 of the
Companies Act 1985.  The interim results are prepared on the basis of accounting
policies set out in the annual financial statements of the Group for the year
ended 30 September 2006.  These interim results were approved by the Board on 18
May 2007 and copies of this document are being sent to shareholders.  Further
copies are available from the Company's registered office.



2.         The results for the year ended 30 September 2006 have been extracted
from the statutory accounts, which have been reported on by the Group's auditors
and have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies.  The auditors' report was
unqualified and did not contain any statement under section 237 (2) or (3) of
the Companies Act 1985.



3.         Finance income
                                                         Six months to   Six months to    Year ended 30
                                                         31 March 2007   31 March 2006   September 2006
                                                             Unaudited       Unaudited          Audited
                                                                  £000            £000             £000

Interest receivable from bank deposits                             830             386              787
Interest receivable from Inland revenue repayments                  28               -              115
Interest receivable on advances to venues                           11              18               17
Interest receivable on loan to Incheba Praha                         -               5                5
Unwind of fair value discount on venue advances                      3             232              444
                                                             __________      __________      __________
                                                                   872             641            1,368
                                                             __________      __________      __________



4.   Reconciliation of headline profit before taxation to profit on ordinary
activities before taxation


                                                    Six months to   Six months to      Year ended 30
                                                    31 March 2007   31 March 2006     September 2006
                                                        Unaudited       Unaudited            Audited
                                                             £000            £000               £000

Profit on ordinary activities before taxation               4,741           2,967             24,788
Amortisation of acquired intangibles                          794             733              1,330
(Profit) on disposal of subsidiary undertakings                 -               -              (158)
                                                        __________      __________         __________
Headline profit before taxation                             5,535           3,700             25,960
                                                        __________      __________         __________



5.   Taxation

                                                            Six months to    Six months to     Year ended 30
                                                            31 March 2007    31 March 2006    September 2006
                                                                Unaudited        Unaudited           Audited
                                                                     £000             £000              £000
Current tax
     UK corporation tax                                             1,002              644             3,959
     Foreign tax                                                      646              552             3,388
                                                               __________       __________        __________
                                                                    1,648            1,196             7,347
Deferred tax                                                        (215)            (268)                 4
                                                               __________       __________        __________
Tax on profit on ordinary activities                                1,433              928             7,351
                                                               __________       __________        __________



      Tax at the interim is charged at 30% (2006: 31%) representing the best
estimate of the weighted average annual corporation tax expected for the
financial year.

6.   The calculations of earnings per share are based on the following results
and numbers of shares.

                                                           Headline diluted        Basic and diluted
                                                            2007       2006        2007         2006
                                                            £000       £000        £000         £000

Profit for the financial period                            3,327      2,022       3,327        2,022
Amortisation of acquired intangibles                         794        733           -            -
Tax effect of amortisation                                 (157)      (158)           -            -
                                                        ________   ________    ________     ________
                                                           3,964      2,597       3,327        2,022
                                                        ________   ________    ________     ________

                                                                         2007                    2006
                                                      Number of shares ('000)  Number of shares ('000)
Weighted average number of shares:
For basic earnings per share                                          253,505                  250,710
Dilutive effect of exercise of share options                            7,382                   10,406
                                                                  ___________              ___________
For diluted earnings per share                                        260,887                  261,116
                                                                  ___________              ___________



Headline diluted earnings per share is intended to provide a consistent measure
of group earnings on a year on year basis.   Headline diluted earnings per share
is calculated using profit for the financial year before amortisation and
impairment of goodwill and profits or losses arising on disposal of group
undertakings.

7.     Trade and other receivables include trade debtors of £14.9m (31 March
2006: £13.5m; 30 September 2006: £22.0m) and venue advances and other loans of
£2.6m (31 March 2006: £6.4m; 30 September 2006: £4.1m).

Trade and other payables include deferred income of £55.8m (31 March 2006:
£47.4m; 30 September 2006: £39.7m).

8.     As a result of the capital reduction in July 2005, £4.1m is held in a
trust account, which will be released as certain creditors are paid in full. At
31 March 2007, £0.5m of the cash in trust was expected to be released within one
year.

Financial Calendar



Interim dividend

Record date         1 June 2007

Payment date        22 June 2007



Final dividend

Record date         January 2008

Payment date        March 2008




                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange