Coronavirus outbreak impacts Informa B2B events worth £425m

The Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak has forced B2B company Informa to reschedule and cancel more than 100 events worth £425m in revenue, it has announced.

The group said it was “seeing an impact” on its events business as a result of the virus outbreak and is “making all the decisions necessary” to look after colleagues, customers and brands.

Informa runs more than 800 events covering the finance, biotech, pharma, shipping and security industries, among others.

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The company reported turnover of £2.9bn for 2019, up 22 per cent on the year before, with adjusted profit before tax of £821m for the year, up by more than a quarter (26 per cent) on 2018.

Events are worth 65 per cent of the group’s overall revenue, across its Informa Tech, Informa Connect and Informa Markets divisions.

Within Informa Tech alone, events generate 80 per cent of revenues.

In publishing its full-year results today, the company said it had implemented its “Covid-19 action plan” since January, which included postponing, rescheduling and “re-phasing” event brands.

As of today, Informa said it has agreed or is in the process of agreeing the re-scheduling of 45 large event brands to a date later this year, worth revenue of £350m.

A further 70 smaller brands have also been re-scheduled, worth about £50m in revenue, while 13 brands, worth £25m in revenue, have either been cancelled or moved to next year.

The group said: “The strength of our brands and customer relationships put us in a strong position to recover once the current disruption is past, but in 2020 all three events businesses will see an impact from Covid-19.”

Group chief executive Stephen Carter said: “… we have used our strong customer and supplier relationships to swiftly deploy a material postponement programme, shifting our events calendar to later dates in 2020.

“Our brands and strong platforms continue to provide attractive opportunities for further market specialisation and future growth.”

Separately, Advertising Week Europe has been pushed back to 14-17 September in London, with a revised agenda, amid “growing concerns over public health and safety due to the developing coronavirus situation”.

Digital Media Europe has also been postponed to 10-11 November in Vienna, Austria, in an unprecedented move by organisers Wan-Ifra who said they were “committed to accomplishing our mission to gather the European news media community”.

Picture: Reuters/Yves Herman

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