Fresh round of dealmaking in the face-to-face events sector

The FT are reporting that, in the wake of UBM’s chief executive David Levin and Informa’s chief Peter Rigby resigning earlier this year, analysts and industry executives are speculating that a fresh round of dealmaking could happen in the face-to-face events sector.

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David Levin to step down as CEO of UBM

David LevinDavid Levin is to step down as Chief Executive Officer of UBM plc by 31 July 2014.

UBM’s Chairman, Dame Helen Alexander is to lead a search for Levin’s successor. Levin will remain in his current role until a successor is found.

Levin joined UBM as CEO in 2005 and has led the transformation of UBM from a broad media conglomerate focused primarily on the UK and the US into an events and communications business with a significant proportion of its business in emerging markets.

David Levin, said, “I have really enjoyed leading the transformation of UBM’s business over the past eight years, together with a great group of colleagues. During this time UBM has completed more than 100 acquisitions and more than a dozen disposals, and we have returned more than £900m of cash to shareholders. UBM’s two main businesses, Events and PR Newswire, offer significant opportunities for growth, both organic and by acquisition. UBM has built its businesses in the emerging markets of China, India, Brazil, Turkey and the ASEAN region while strengthening its largest position in the USA. This has been underpinned by a profound shift in UBM’s culture. I feel that it is the right time to look for my next challenge. I look forward to the future and, in the meantime, it is business as usual.”

UK, London

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UBM report a decline in profits for the first six months

UBM have reported a decline in profits for the first six months to 30th June 2013, largely reflecting a tough first quarter, lower biennial contribution and continuing investments in their events portfolio.


  • Revenues from continuing operations of £391.1m (H1 2012: £397.2m)
  • Adjusted operating profit from continuing operations of £80.7m (H1 2012: £88.7m) – decline largely reflecting tough Q1, lower biennial contribution and continuing investments in the events portfolio
  • Continuing operating cash flow generation increased to £98.8m (H1 2012: £95.9m), with cash conversion of 110.9%
  • Continuing fully diluted adjusted EPS of 21.6p (H1 2012: 22.7p)
  • Events Q2 organic revenue growth of 6.5% – PR Newswire Q2 organic revenue growth of 3.9%
  • Forward bookings for Top 20 shows up 11.7%
  • Emerging Markets revenues up 10.4% to £89.5m with operating profit of £19.6m
  • Restructuring of Marketing Services progressing – £9.6m of exceptional reorganisation and restructuring cost – expect restructuring to be substantially complete by the end of the year – £16.2m of revenues under Strategic Review
  • Receipt of £99.7m of cash proceeds upon completion of Delta disposal, applied to reduce debt

David Levin, UBM’s Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“As highlighted at the IMS in April, challenging market conditions, particularly in the UK construction sector, meant we had a tough first quarter. A good second quarter substantially offset the Q1 performance, thanks in large part to healthy growth at our shows in China. With continued strong forward booking trends for our H2 Emerging Markets events we feel confident about the second half.

“During the first half we completed the Delta disposal and accelerated the restructuring of Marketing Services. We are aligning Marketing Services more closely with our events and focusing it on more profitable, community-based business models which take advantage of our strengths in high quality content and audience reach. We’re already seeing improved profitability, albeit on lower revenues. We expect this restructuring programme to be substantially complete by the end of the year.

“These steps underline our determination to focus UBM’s business on delivering faster growth and higher quality of earnings, as evidenced by our strong cash flow performance in the first half. We look forward, with confidence, to the second half of the year and beyond as UBM continues to develop as an events-led marketing services and communications business. ”

UBM 6 mths to Jun13

UK, London

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UBM results for the year ended 31 December 2012

UBM has announced preliminary results for the full year ended 31 December 2012

Full preliminary resultsUBM


  • Agreed disposal of Data Services businesses
  • Revenues from continuing operations rose 2.0% to £797.8m – organic revenue growth of 6.0%
  • Events organic revenue growth of 11.9% with operating profit up to £142.4m
  • Emerging Markets revenues up 18.1% to £204.7m with operating profit of £61.7m
  • Adjusted operating profit from continuing operations up 1.6% to £177.0m
  • Fully diluted adjusted EPS for continuing operations up 3.3% to 49.8p – including Delta: 59.1p
  • £60.6m invested in acquiring eight events businesses and the remaining Canada Newswire stake
  • Recommending final dividend of 20.0p (2011: 20.0p) to bring total dividend to 26.7p, up 1.5%

David Levin, UBM’s Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“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. 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% of annual event revenues.”

“The sale of the Delta businesses is a significant strategic step which simplifies UBM’s business, improves the quality of our earnings, enhances underlying growth rates and removes the challenge of transitioning the Delta businesses to the digital environment. We can now focus on further developing UBM as a fast-growing and increasingly profitable events-led marketing services and communications business.”

UK, London

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UBM acquires 70% stake in Turkish baby product tradeshow EFEM

UBM plc has acquired a 70% equity share in EFEM, a tradeshow organiser based in Turkey, from its private owners and has formed a joint venture company with EFEM to be called UBM ICC. UBM ICC will develop EFEM’s existing baby products shows. EFEM organises the International Istanbul Mothers, Babies, Children Products Fair  and Wintexpo Autumn Winter Baby Child Fashion Fair. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

EFEM’s owners, Erdal Baykara and Hüseyin Irmak, and EFEM’s eight staff will remain with the business. EFEM generated revenues of approximately £1m in 2011. As at 2 September 2012, the business’s gross assets were less than £0.1m. UBM’s acquisition of a 70% stake in EFEM and the establishment of the UBM ICC joint venture extends a long-standing relationship between EFEM and UBM Asia which began with reciprocal sales and marketing arrangements for their respective baby-child-maternity tradeshows.

David Levin, Chief Executive Officer of UBM plc said: “With seven UBM events running in 2013, three of which are new geo-adaptions of UBM shows which are already successful in other countries, Turkey is an exciting market for UBM and for our joint venture partners. We continue to see great opportunities in countries like Turkey, Brazil, India, China and across the AEAN countries for us to leverage our global infrastructure and event portfolio to support the development of national and global trade in the fast-growing markets we have chosen to operate in.”

UK, London and Turkey, Istanbul

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