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Nine-Month Interim Management Statement

21 Oct 2014 08:13

Balanced Group performance during ongoing operational and management transition

Informa PLC (“Informa” or the “Group”), today releases an interim management statement providing an update on the performance and financial position of the Group since the half year ended 30 June 2014 based on the results for the nine months ended 30 September, with comments reflecting trading up until the date of this release.

Key highlights
• Current trading…remains on track with full year expectations unchanged
• Global Events...growing strongly, underpinned by further positive momentum in Exhibitions
• Academic Publishing…trading robust, limited impact from Swets* (subscription agent) disruption
• Business Intelligence…operational changes accelerated to improve focus and structure

Stephen A. Carter, Group Chief Executive, said:

“Informa is performing to plan following nine months of consistent trading from our balanced mix of businesses and strong returns from our targeted acquisition strategy. Since the start of the year, we have been implementing a programme of Measured Change across the Group, which has delivered a robust performance from our Global Events and Academic Publishing Divisions, and increased operational focus in our Business Intelligence Division. Together, this should enable us to meet our full-year earnings expectations.”

He added:

“In 2015 and beyond, we will implement the Growth Acceleration Plan under the strengthened management team and new operating structure first unveiled in July this year. Despite the current macro-economic and geo-political uncertainty in the wider business environment, this is expected to deliver growth across all our Divisions over time and generate valuable returns for shareholders.”

Trading Performance
The Group continues to trade on plan, with many of the trends witnessed in the first six months continuing into the third quarter. In the nine months to September, the Group delivered organic revenue growth of 1.8%.

Global Events: Organic growth of 7.9% over the first nine-months reflects another strong performance from the Global Exhibitions business. Our strategy of building scale in key markets and diversifying our exposure to specific verticals and geographies continues to pay dividends. The quarter also benefited from the inclusion of the Brazilian biennial exhibition held in July, ForMόbile, and the movement of Dubai-based Cityscape Global from Q4 in 2013 to Q3 this year.

The performance of our conference and learning activities within Knowledge & Networking continue to be mixed. The performance in our major regional hubs of the UK, Middle East and North America remains stable and consistent. However, weak macro trends in Continental Europe continue to make trading here challenging, whilst geo-political tensions in Eastern Europe have also had a marked impact on activity levels in this region.

To date, we have seen limited impact in specific, higher risk geographic markets from the increased global awareness of the Ebola virus, and will continue to monitor the situation.

Academic Publishing: Trading within our Academic business continues to be robust. Organic growth for the nine-month period was 3.9%, similar to the first-half. We continue to expect to reach our targets for the year, notwithstanding the tough comparable in the final quarter after the strong end to 2013.

The recent bankruptcy of the subscription agent, Swets*, has understandably caused some market disruption. While it accounted for 6.7% of Divisional revenue in 2013, we acted quickly to minimise any impact on customers and so direct exposure appears minimal. Any one-off revenue impact should, therefore, be small but the need for some libraries to redirect orders could potentially delay the collection of cash from a number of our customers. This is likely to have some impact on cash conversion in 2014.

Business Intelligence: We are accelerating the changes needed to management, structure and operating focus within this Division. Margins continue to be strong, although revenue has remained under pressure through the period. Over the first nine-months of the year, the organic revenue decline was 7.1%.

The three independently run units that previously comprised Business Intelligence are being consolidated into a single operating structure, with a unified management team, led by divisional CEO, Patrick Martell, who joins the Group formally in November. A number of related changes have already been made, and most of the senior divisional team has now been appointed, including several other external hires that will add valuable expertise and experience.

Investor Presentation
Informa will be hosting a presentation to investors at 2.00pm on 6 November 2014, at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which will also be available to view via webcast at www.informa.com. It will include presentations by the Group Chief Executive, Group Finance Director and two further members of the Executive Management Team, and cover areas such as Group strategy, capital allocation and financing.

Enquiries
Informa PLC 
Stephen A. Carter, Group Chief Executive +44 (0) 20 7017 5771
Gareth Wright, Group Finance Director +44 (0) 20 7017 7096
Richard Menzies-Gow, Director of Investor Relations +44 (0) 20 3377 3445
 
StockWell Communications 
Tim Burt +44 (0) 20 7240 2486

Investors and Analysts
Gareth Wright, Group Finance Director, and Richard Menzies-Gow, Director of Investor Relations, will be hosting a conference call for analysts and investors today to discuss the 9m IMS and trading outlook, commencing at 9.30am. Dial in details: +44 (0) 20 3427 0503 Confirmation Code: 9589197.

Notes to editors
*Information on Swets
Swets provides content management services, principally to libraries, managing their subscription and other content purchases from multiple providers. On 23 September 2014, Swets filed for bankruptcy in The Netherlands and was declared bankrupt. On 30 September 2014, its Managing Director published a press release confirming that various options were being reviewed in order to preserve as much of the inherent value of the business as possible and to continue the business. (www.swets.com)

Cautionary Statements
This Interim Management Statement contains forward looking statements. These statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties and actual results and events could differ materially from those currently being anticipated as reflected in such forward looking statements. The terms 'expect', 'should be', 'will be' and similar expressions identify forward looking statements. Factors which may cause future outcomes to differ from those foreseen in forward looking statements include, but are not limited to: general economic conditions and business conditions in Informa's markets; exchange rate fluctuations, customers' acceptance of its products and services; the actions of competitors; legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments; changes in law and legal interpretation affecting Informa's intellectual property rights and internet communications; and the impact of technological change. These forward looking statements speak only as of the date of this interim management statement. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward looking statements contained in this document to reflect any change in the Group’s expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.