RNS Number : 6421E
ITE Group PLC
30 September 2008
30 September 2008
ITE Group plc
Pre-close trading update for the year ending 30 September 2008
ITE Group plc, the international exhibitions group specialising in emerging and developing markets, has today issued the following update for the year ending 30 September 2008, prior to entering its close period and ahead of its preliminary results announcement on 2 December 2008.
Trading for the fourth quarter has been in line with management expectations and overall ITE has experienced continued good demand for its core exhibitions in Russia and the CIS. Revenues for the full year are expected to be circa £109m (2007 £99.1m), which on a like-for-like basis represents revenue growth of circa 11% for the year. Turnover and profits for the full year are expected to be slightly ahead of current market expectations.
The domestic CIS economies in which ITE carries out most of its business remain strong. To date, there has not been any noticeable impact on demand for our exhibitions arising from the credit market crisis. However the building sector in Kazakhstan has experienced a slowdown in new developments following a correction in property prices. ITE's direct exposure to business carried out in Georgia is minimal.
Fourth Quarter Trading
Since the Interim Management Statement released on 31 July 2008 ITE's main events have reported stronger revenue growth than volume growth across the board. This reflects in part the strength of the Euro relative to Sterling; for ITE's Euro denominated events the average exchange rate achieved has been 6% higher than the equivalent exchange rate for last year. The main events to have taken place in the fourth quarter are:
MODA Autumn, ITE's UK fashion and footwear event took place in Birmingham. The event performed well in selling 16,100m2 (2007 16,400m2), and was well attended and appreciated by visitors despite the weaker UK retail environment.
Kazbuild, the Almaty construction event held in September sold 9,200m2 (2007 13,400m2). The reduction in size relates mostly to the downturn in the Kazakhstan building sector which has temporarily stalled new development projects, but also in part to the re-location of certain exhibitors to the spring edition of Kazbuild.
The Moscow International Motor Show held in September sold 17,100m2 (2007 17,700m2), a good performance against strong local competition. Since its re-location to Crocus in 2006 the event has continued to face competition from a parallel motor show taking place in the same venue at the same time.
Baltic Building Week held in St Petersburg in September sold 9,500m2 (2007: 10,200m2) and recorded a strong financial performance. Next year this event should benefit from synergy with the newly acquired Interstroyexpo event which takes place under ITE's ownership for the first time in April 2009.
In September ITE MODA acquired Bubble, a small childrenswear event, from Kidding LLC for a consideration of £0.35m payable in cash. Bubble is a newly launched 'directional' event running twice a year in London. It will provide a platform for ITE MODA to establish itself in the childrenswear sector where it already has a good market position through its existing publishing activity.
Since 31 July 2008 ITE has acquired 5.4 million of its own shares for aggregate consideration of £8.1m. These shares will be cancelled in due course. Over the same time period ITE's Employees' Share Trust (ESOT) has acquired a further 4.0 million shares for aggregate consideration of £5.6m.
The Group will have net cash of circa £28m on 30 September 2008. Amounts unpaid and relating to the share buyback programme outlined above at 30 September 2008 are £0.6m.
The Board continues to monitor the macro-economic environment closely. Currently the CIS economies are forecast to maintain strong growth rates for the foreseeable future and the outlook for the next financial year remains positive. The three acquisitions made during this financial year are performing in line with management's expectations and as at 26 September 2008 ITE had booked 2009 revenues of £60m which on a like-for-like basis is more than 10% ahead of the comparable figure for last year.
Russell Taylor, Chief Executive, ITE Group plc Tel: 0207 596 5000
Charlie Palmer/Tim Spratt, Financial Dynamics Tel: 020 7831 3113
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