DMGT announces small events growth and major capital returns, despite revenue fall in H1

International event organiser and media group DMGT has reported its outlook for the full year “in line with market expectations” despite H1 financials that show a 3% drop in revenues for the period compared to the same period in 2018.

Statutory operating profit was £39m (US$49.2m), a decrease from £133m in the prior year primarily due to a £72m reduction in the share of profits from joint ventures and associates. 

The company, announcing the H1 financials (for the six months to 31 March) on 30 May, said it had made major capital returns and made “good progress” in transforming the group. 

DMGT said it had returned £862m to shareholders through the distribution of its Euromoney stake and a £200m special dividend.

DMGT also announced the sale of another successful investment - the disposal of its 40% stake in RCA for $89m.

The B2B businesses saw continued underlying revenue growth of 2%. EdTech and Events and Exhibitions grew and there were stable performances from Insurance Risk, Property Information and Energy Information.

Adjusted operating profit was up 11% and DMGT CEO Paul Zwillenberg, CEO, commented: “DMGT delivered a good performance in the first half of the year, achieving underlying growth in revenue, cash generation and profit… We saw continued growth in our B2B portfolio.

“The strategy we are pursuing is transforming DMGT and delivering results. The distribution of our stake in Euromoney and the £200m special dividend was a defining moment for DMGT. We returned nearly £900m, or 38% of our market capitalisation, to our shareholders. Our balance sheet remains strong despite this considerable capital return and an additional £117m made available to our pension schemes. We are confident we can invest for growth.” 

The financial statement’s outlook, however, predicted an underlying rate of revenue decline for the full year in the low-single digits – a figure down from the mid-single digits previously guided to.

The Events and Exhibitions business made a small acquisition during the period and recorded revenues of £73m, £1m up on H1 2018. Adjusted operating profit for the division fell to £18m from £20m during the period.

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