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Ascential PLC (ASCL)

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Wednesday 18 March, 2020

Ascential PLC

Cannes Lions deferral to contingency dates

RNS Number : 6487G
Ascential PLC
18 March 2020

18 March 2020


Ascential plc


Cannes Lions deferral to previously announced contingency dates


Ascential plc (LSE: ASCL.L), the specialist information, data and analytics company, in collaboration with our global customers and the City of Cannes, announces that the festival is adopting its previously announced contingency dates, and will take place in October 2020.


Approximately 75% of Ascential's annual revenues are delivered through robust digital subscriptions and platforms, advisory and benchmark revenue streams.  Approximately 25% of annual revenues are derived from destination events income, mainly the Cannes Lions festival (which traditionally takes place in June) and Money20/20 events in Amsterdam (in June) and Las Vegas (in October).


We are pleased to have received the support of our major customers on this decision to defer the Cannes Lions festival.  Contracted customer delegate passes, award entries and sponsorship arrangements will be automatically transferred to the new dates.  Any additional costs that may be incurred as a result of the postponement are not currently expected to be material.  We will continue to engage closely with our customers in coming months to assist them in planning for these revised dates, whilst also monitoring carefully continuing developments associated with the Coronavirus outbreak and following World Health Organisation (WHO) and national government guidelines.   


A final decision has yet to be taken on whether to activate the previously announced contingency dates for Money20/20 Europe and we continue to engage closely with customers and follow the advice of the Dutch government, the WHO and local authorities in Amsterdam.


Trading continues to be in line with our previous guidance, and this reflects our heavy bias (c.75% revenues) towards digital subscriptions and platforms, advisory and benchmark revenue streams.  However, in light of the rapidly changing impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Board has decided not to reconfirm financial guidance and has taken the prudent decision to put the share buyback programme on hold for the time being.


Ascential announced the successful refinancing of its debt facilities at its year end results, replacing its previous term loans with an expanded £450m revolving credit facility maturing in January 2025.  As a result, the Company has a robust balance sheet and ample liquidity.  It also has a good degree of flexibility to reschedule its major events within the financial year and expects to be operating well within its covenants at the next testing date at the end of June 2020.



For further information, please contact:


FTI Consulting LLP

020 3727 1000

Ed Bridges / Matt Dixon / Jamie Ricketts




Ascential is a specialist information, data and analytics company that helps the world's most ambitious businesses win in the digital economy. Our information, insights, connections, data and digital tools solve customer problems in three principal disciplines:


· Product Design via global trend forecasting service WGSN;


·   Marketing via global benchmark for creative excellence and effectiveness Cannes Lions and WARC, and strategic advisory firm MediaLink; and


· Sales   via ecommerce-driven data, insights and advisory firm Edge by Ascential and Yimian, leading managed services provider for Amazon, Flywheel Digital, the world's premier payments and FinTech congress Money20/20 and World Retail Congress and Retail Week.


Ascential also powers political, construction and environmental intelligence brands DeHavilland, Glenigan and Groundsure - together comprising the Built Environment and Policy segment.


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