Informa reports big underlying revenue growth of 41% in latest trading statement

Informa has reported accelerating international B2B Markets growth, improving performance in Academic markets, and continuing US operating expansion in its trading statement, 14 November.

The trading update from Informa was certainly liked by the City in London, with the company’s shares up 6% and topping the FTSE100 risers’ leader board in early trading. Stephen A. Carter (pictured), group chief executive, Informa PLC, said: “B2B market demand is growing across many industries and most geographies, with the current exception of China, which will provide incremental growth as it reopens. Informa and its brands are at the heart of this B2B market strength.” He added: “Our 4-year GAP 2 programme continues to deliver growth and acceleration within both Academic Markets and B2B Markets. In addition, our divestment programme has completed ahead of schedule and with returns ahead of target, significantly strengthening our balance sheet and putting Informa in a strong position for further growth and investment in 2023.”

Key highlights from the company’s November statement include:

Continuing growth acceleration

Group 10-month underlying revenue growth for continuing businesses of 41% (excluding currency benefits and compared to 10-month 2021 growth of c3%);

Meeting and exceeding 2022 revenue and profit targets

Strong outperformance in Live and On- Demand Events in North America, EMEA and ASEAN, combined with continuing growth in Academic Markets, drives increase to full year guidance range (+£100m ($117.9m) to £2,300-£2,350m) on revenue and +£15m to £490m-£505m on adjusted operating profit, with all divestments and additions now incorporated and with any further Live and On-Demand Events revenue in China before year-end providing incremental growth;

US strength and depth in specialist B2B markets

The company has built leading positions in the US and other key regions, a portfolio of high-quality brands with depth in specialist B2B markets (Pharma, CyberSecurity, Private Capital, Healthcare etc), and a growing range of high-value digital services, maintaining investment in product and service delivery through Covid to deliver accelerated growth and performance through 2022;

Continuing momentum into 2023

Improving growth in Open Research, further return of Live & On Demand Events and growing monetisation of First Party Specialist Data – underpinned by 65%± US dollar based revenue, and 60%± revenue with strong forward visibility – delivering strong operating momentum, with incremental growth in China as the market reopens;

GAP 2 Portfolio Focus

c.$3bn in value generated through divestment programme, with expected post-tax cash proceeds of c.$2.5bn, at an average EV/EBITDA multiple of 28x. Final sale due to complete on 1 December (Maritime Intelligence);

Targeted expansion

Earnings enhancing acquisition of US data business Industry Dive completed, enhancing capabilities in Audience Development and Lead Generation via specialist digital content;

Balance sheet strength

Double digit revenue and profit growth, combined with high cash conversion, delivering £400m+ free cash flow in 2022; Combined with strong divestment returns, year-end net debt (ex-leases) expected to be close to zero;

Accelerating shareholder returns

Over £450m of £725m share buyback programme completed to date, in addition to the resumption of ordinary dividends.