RNS Number : 2780M
ITE Group PLC
27 January 2009
27 January 2009
ITE Group plc
('ITE' or the 'Group')
Interim Management Statement
ITE Group plc is today publishing its Interim Management Statement for the period from 1 October 2008 to the date of this announcement, incorporating the Group's first quarter trading period from 1 October 2008 to 31 December 2008. Other than the information contained in this Interim Management Statement there have been no material events or transactions in the period from 31 December 2008 to 26 January 2009.
The Group's trading has been in line with management expectations for the first three months of the financial year. Revenue for the three month period to 31 December 2008 was £19.7m, (3 months to 31 December 2007: £13.9m). Events taking place during the first quarter have been largely unaffected by the global slowdown, and overall like for like revenues for the first quarter were 13% ahead of the same period last year.
The Kazakhstan Oil and Gas Exhibition & Conference was the only one of the Group's ten most profitable events to take place during the three month trading period to 31 December 2008. As previously announced, the Kazakhstan exhibition market experienced difficult trading conditions in the latter half of 2008 and as a result exhibition space sales were 8% less than at last year's event although revenues were 8% higher. Other significant exhibitions to have taken place during the period included Pharmtech, Ingredients Russia, Bakubuild, Public Health and the Turkmenistan Oil & Gas conference. These have all performed well and to plan.
The Group had net cash at 23 January 2009 of approximately £29m.
Acquisition during the period
On 24 December 2008, the Group announced the acquisition of Newex Marketing Limited from its owner Vigity Limited. Newex Marketing Limited owns 75% of the company which owns EMITT, the annual travel and tourism exhibition in Turkey, and the leading Hotel Guide for the Turkish market. The addition of EMITT to ITE's portfolio is consistent with its strategy of building market leading positions in core markets and sectors. The first edition under ITE's ownership will take place in February 2009.
The Group is facing an increasingly difficult trading environment as the global economic slowdown impacts on its core markets. While international sales have proved more resilient, the Group is currently experiencing some cancellations and a slowing of local sales. As outlined in the Group's preliminary results in December 2008, the Group has seen a weakness in space sales which has continued in recent weeks. However, the Group's Euro based revenues are benefitting from the current weakness of Sterling which, together with pricing changes, is lessening the financial impact of slowing sales. The Group has good cost flexibility and is actively managing its operating structure to minimise the effect of reducing sales volumes on its margins.
As at 23 January 2009, the Group had contracted £81m of revenues for the current financial year (25 January 2008: £71m), representing approximately 65% of current market expectations. While like for like space sales have now fallen some 15% behind last year's comparatives, like for like revenues remain 6% ahead of the comparable figure for last year.
Russell Taylor, Chief Executive, ITE Group plc Tel: 020 7596 5000
Charlie Palmer/Helen Thomas, Financial Dynamics Tel: 020 7831 3113
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