Informa says events holding up
by Annie Byrne
The conference and events business is holding up for Informa, according to a company update for the first 10 months of the year. Informa says it is confident of meeting its expectations for 2009, claiming its publishing remains resilient, while the events side of the business “has not experienced any worsening in performance”.Informa, which produces 11,000 events around the world and runs trade fairs including the Cityscape property exhibitions and many allied conferences, says forward bookings in exhibitions and larger conferences are strong, although some contract renewals could slip into 2010.Events account for about a third of Informa’s sales and its shares strengthened 0.7 per cent on Monday’s trading update. The stock has risen 56 per cent in 2009 and trades at about 10 times expected 2010 earnings, broadly in line with its rivals, including UBM.The markets, it seems, are encouraged by Informa’s comments that renewals at its events are showing resilience to late-cycle pressure.Informa warns strengthening of sterling will hit profitability, but flags up work already done to cut its weaker events and training programmes. The company remains confident of meeting its full-year target, but stresses: “The last two months of the year are important in determining the outcome for the full year”.