Insurance and group revenues stabilise, despite steep decline in DMGT’s exhibition business

The Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) has posted revenues of £858m in a trading update covering the nine months to 30 June 2021. The figure is down an underlying 3%. A steep decline in B2B Events & Exhibitions was contrasted by underlying growth in B2B Information Services.

B2B Events and Exhibitions produced just 1% of group revenues over the nine-month period and dropped 90% over the period.

Overall, revenues appear to be on an upswing, with Group revenue of £278m in Q3 FY 2021 up an underlying 25%, albeit reflecting a particularly challenging Q3 FY 2020.

Other highlights of the period covered by the trading update included the announcement on 12 July 2021 regarding a possible major reorganisation of DMGT, including potential RMS disposal and a possible offer by Rothermere Continuation Limited (RCL) to take DMGT private.

The sale of Risk Management Solutions (RMS), the group’s insurance risk business, is expected to realise a premium valuation for shareholders and the group says it expects completion in the quarter to September 2021.

The disposal would follow its sale of Hobsons, DMGT’s EdTech business, which brought in US$410m in March 2021.

While B2B Events and Exhibitions revenues plummeted over the nine months under review, Index, the interior design event, and the Hotel Show were both held in Dubai in May 2021 while Big 5 Egypt, the construction event, was held in June 2021. These contributed to significant underlying revenue growth in the third quarter because no physical events were held in Q3 FY 2020.

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a substantial impact, with third quarter revenues from events that are usually held annually down approximately 62% compared to FY 2019.

In June 2021, the decision was taken to relocate Gastech to Dubai from Singapore, to increase the likelihood of the event taking place in September 2021. Gastech is likely to be a smaller event than previously anticipated. Big 5 Dubai, the other major event expected to be held this financial year, remains scheduled for September 2021.

Exhibitors’ and delegates’ ability and willingness to travel internationally in the near future remain uncertain, the group said in its update. “The events scheduled for our final quarter are expected to deliver significantly less revenue than usual. As previously indicated, DMGT retains the benefit of US$20m insurance cover that will be recognised in FY 2021,” the statement added.

Photo: Lord Rothermere