Informa and UBM’s half year results were released last week, revealing increased events and international growth, with the traditional elements of these B2B businesses – such as Informa’s Business Intelligence division – still struggling.
The company posted organic revenue growth of 1.9 percent to £569.6 million according to the company’s H1 2014 results for the six months ended 30 June.
Organic adjusted operating profit increased 1.7 percent from £159.5 million to £166.7 million, while the adjusted operating margin was 29.3 percent – up year-on-year from 28.3 percent in 2013.
At the Business Intelligence division, organic revenue decreased 6.6 percent from £171.0 million to £161.4 million, while adjusted operating profit decreased 8.3 percent from £46.4 million to £43.9 million.
The Academic Publishing division saw 3.8 percent revenue growth to £164.3 million and adjusted operating profit of three percent organic growth to £52.8 million.
The global events side of the business – an increasingly important division for many B2B publishers as they become more focused on international events expansion – grew revenue by seven percent to £243.9 million, and adjusted operating profit by 8.5 percent on an organic basis, to £70 million.
CEO Stephen A. Carter, said:
“We continue to expand organically and by acquisition…In the second phase of our Strategic Review, Informa is focusing on growth opportunities and improving returns across the Group. Further details will be provided in the second half but we anticipate additional investment of up to £90 million over three years to deliver on our mid-term organic growth objectives.”
“This will be weighted to the Business Intelligence division, where we believe the potential for improvement is greatest.”
Revenue and profit is still up for Informa, but obviously the Business Intelligence division is still significantly under-performing.
A recent Exane BNP Paribas analyst report said the BI division is expected to return to growth by the second half of 2015, following disposals and cyclical recovery, but the company still has its approaching restructuring to focus on first.
UBM reported a decline in revenue of 7.9 percent, from £391.8 million to £361 million, for the six months ended 30 June 2014, “reflecting a strong currency headwind.”
Adjusted operating profit was up 8.7 percent, however, to £87.4 million (from £80.4 million in H1 2013).
The Events division reported underlying revenue growth of 4.8 percent to £214.2 million, with adjusted operating profit down 1.8 percent to £61.6 million.
Revenue at the Marketing Services division declined 9.4 percent on an underlying basis to £48.5 million and adjusted operating profit was up 22.2 percent to £4.4 million.
The PR Newswire segment posted an increase of 2.6 percent in underlying revenue to £98.3 million, with adjusted operating profit declining 4.7 percent to £22.4 million.
UBM CEO Tim Cobbold said UBM had a solid first half and remains on track to meet expectations for the full year:
“Although the reported performance was adversely impacted by currency headwinds, the Group performed well with good underlying revenue growth in both the Events and PR Newswire businesses and with higher operating margins in each of the three businesses.”
UBM continues its international expansion, with recent analysis from TheMediaBriefing highlighting the huge boost in “rest of world” earnings over the last several years – from £308.7 million in 2011 to £710.3 million in two years later in 2013.
Events revenue is also on the up, year-on-year to 2013, reflecting the increasing importance of the international events markets in the continued growth of these traditional B2B companies.