Reed Exhibitions Posts 15-percent Revenue Gain; UBM's Event Revenues Jump Nearly 12 Percent

March 3, 2013

Reed Exhibitions’ global portfolio of more than 400 trade shows had a banner year in 2012, with UBM also posting significant gains for the year  in its events portfolio.

Revenues for Reed Exhibitions’ trade show division, a Reed Elsevier company, climbed 15 percent from £707 million ($1.06 billion) in 2011 to £854 million ($1.28 billion) in 2012.

This division led the four other segments of the company’s portfolio – Science, Technical and Medical; Legal; Risk Solutions; and Business Information.

In the past few years, Reed has sold off the majority of its print portfolio worldwide and focused on its core segments.

“By the end of 2012, approximately 80 percent of our revenues were in our targeted formats of electronic and face to face, which generated average underlying revenue growth rates of 5 to 7 percent,” said Erik Engstrom, Reed Elsevier’s CEO.

Reed had a busy year beefing up its event portfolio even further, launching more than 30 new events in 2012 and making $150 million in acquisitions.

“In the past few years, we’ve been building sizable businesses in Brazil and China,” Reed Exhibitions’ CEO Mike Rusbridge told TSNN in an interview last year.

He added, “We’ve also entered Russia as well. This year has been a particularly busy year for us.”

Reed Exhibitions launched and/or acquired businesses in Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and formed a partnership in Turkey.

And, Rusbridge said, “Despite rumors, we’ve never left India.”

UBM’s events revenues increased 11.9 percent from £391.9 million ($591 million) in 2011 to £437.6 million ($659 million) in 2012.

"2012 has been another good year for UBM both operationally and strategically. We grew overall revenues and profits, with robust underlying revenue growth in our key Events and PR Newswire businesses,” said UBM CEO David Levin.

He added, “Events now account for three quarters of the group's continuing operating profit. We have continued to focus on large tradeshows; in 2012, 100 annual events generated revenues of more than £1m - accounting for 85 percent of annual event revenues."

Part of the growth was attributed to UBM’s robust acquisition strategy, with the company launching 22 new geo-adaptations, principally in China and India.

UBM also continued to develop large events – 100 events with revenues greater than £1m ($1.5 million) accounted for 85 percent of annual revenues, compared with 83 events that accounted for 79 percent of annual revenues in 2011.

In addition, biennial events boosted UBM’s 2012 numbers, with 35, contributing £24.8m ($37 million) of revenue.

Both UBM and Reed officials said they expect continued upward trends this year, though there are some concerns related to the overall economy.

“Although the outlook for the macro environment, and its impact on our customer markets, is mixed, we have entered 2013 with positive momentum, and expect another year of underlying revenue, profit, and earnings growth,” Engstrom said.

In its Summary Outlook, UBM stated: “Based on current conditions in the markets we serve and the wider macroeconomic context, we expect Group underlying revenue growth in the range of 3 to 7 percent during 2013.  We anticipate continued attractive Events growth, albeit more in line with long term sustainable economic growth rates.”

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