Hyve issues trading update

International exhibition organiser Hyve Group plc has announced a trading update for the period from 1 October 2022 to 26 March 2023.

The UK-based Group has been running a full schedule of events in the reporting period and said it expected to deliver revenue for HY23 in a range of £95m (US$116.4m) - £100m underpinned by strong performance across all key KPIs including like-for-like customer spend.

The report comes less than two weeks after the Group’s Board agreed to recommend a proposal from private equity group Providence Equity Partners to acquire the business in a deal worth 108p in cash for each Hyve share and valuing the organiser at approximately £481m (US580m).

Following a five-year transformation, which completed in FY22, the schedule of the Group’s streamlined portfolio of market leading events is now weighted to the first half of its financial year. This includes brands such as Africa Oil Week, Mining Indaba, Spring Fair, which all delivered strong year on year growth. Fintech Meetup and Shoptalk, both taking place at the end of March, are expected to perform in line with the Group’s expectations, despite some impact on attendance from the uncertainties created as a result of recent macro events in the banking and technology sectors. 

Following the phasing out of Covid-19 related restrictions, the Group was able to hold its first events in China since 2020, including ChinaCoat. The Group said these events were impacted due to early stages of market re-opening and the lack of international participation. 

Hyve said good progress has been made in rolling out the meeting programmes offering across the portfolio and the Group continues to invest significantly into these products.

Net debt and insurance

Adjusted net debt at 22 March 2023 was approximately £55m (31 March 2022: £64m) which includes the receipt of insurance proceeds in February and bookings for upcoming events, but does not take into consideration recent event delivery costs. The adjusted net debt position at the end of FY23 is expected to be in the region of £80m-£85m.

The Group received a further £4.2m of cancellation insurance proceeds bringing aggregate claims to date to £110.5m out of £112m maximum available for events cancelled in FY20 and FY21. This was the final settlement amount in respect of all outstanding claims.

Forward bookings

The Group said it entered FY23 with positive trading momentum, which has continued throughout the first half of the year with forward bookings of approximately £145m as of 22 March. It said that performance for the full financial year would be in line with the Group’s expectations. At the same point in time last year the Group had £102m of forward bookings on FY22 events. 

Mark Shashoua (pictured), CEO of Hyve Group plc, commented: "Our five-year transformation, which we completed last year and resulted in a streamlined and de-risked portfolio of market-leading events, has allowed us to start this year with purpose and momentum. This has led to strong trading throughout the first six months of the year, with like-for-like customer spend tracking strongly into FY23 in line with our expectations.

In addition, our digital diversification continues, with the addition of new tech-enabled meetings programmes and the expansion of existing ones. This trajectory will continue in the second half of the year. 

We remain conscious of challenges in the macro-economic environment globally, the threat of recession in a number of our markets and, in particular, the recent macro events in banking and tech sectors. However, we believe we are well placed to weather any possible challenges, as marketing spend continues to gravitate towards must-attend leading events that drive return on investment.”