ITE to further diversify its markets as rouble trouble hits profits

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ITE Group is claiming a solid performance this year in its preliminary results, despite a challenging trading environment in key markets including Russia and Central Asia. Economic sanctions against Russia and a weak rouble were among the factors the event organiser cited as reasons for a drop in full year profits drop by a quarter. CEO of ITE Group Russell Taylor (pictured) put a weak performance in Central Asian states down mainly to the weakness of the oil price and domestic currencies. A 50 per cent drop in the value of the rouble against sterling accounted for most of the £6.5m foreign exchange loss suffered in the year, a financial statement from ITE noted, and a reduction in core business through adverse economic conditions accounted for a further £12.5m of shortfall against last year. Taylor told EN that, despite a weak performance in Russia, he was predicting a “drastic recovery” for Russia, “but the effects will be shown in our results over the first half of next year in addition to these recent results". Taylor added he expected a pick-up in the country by 2017. “Our focus now is on emerging markets, including China, South East Asia, Africa and India.” On the upside, ITE pointed to a positive biennial contribution of £1.4m, and the benefit of newly acquired businesses, which had an incremental effect of £2.6m in the year after additional financing costs. Taylor went on to add that the group’s other regions, which now account for over 40 per cent of ITE’s business, were trading well. “ITE has continued to diversify its portfolio and strengthen its industry verticals by acquiring leading events, establishing a better geographic balance between its historical Russian-CIS businesses and other leading emerging markets,” Taylor said. Nevertheless, on a like-for-like basis, overall volume sales fell by 14 per cent and revenues fell by 12 per cent. The group also reported that its fiscal 2015 profit before tax declined to £31.5m from £41.5m last year. Earnings per share were 10.4 pence, down from 13.8 pence last year. Over the past 12 months, ITE acquisitions have included 50.1 per cent of a portfolio of events including Africa Oil Week. ITE has now established cornerstone businesses in three of the largest emerging markets of the future – China, India and Africa. “A flexible cost base and our strong market positions mean the group is well placed to benefit from any future improvement in the Russian economy,” Taylor added. In other financial results news, The Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) announced preliminary full year figures that included a one per cent dip in revenues and underlying profit down four per cent. Adjusted profit before tax of £281m is down four per cent at the publisher and event organising group. Analysts said good profit growth from dmg information and dmg events was more than offset by increased costs and challenging market conditions for the RMS (one) and Euromoney operations where underlying operating profit dropped 15 per cent. DMGT oversaw a £100m share buy-back programme, while net debt increased by £99m to £702m. Chief executive Martin Morgan described the results as “resilient” and stressed continued growth in earnings per share. “The strength and diversity of the group’s portfolio has enabled us to navigate challenging market conditions and take a long-term view by investing for future growth,” said Morgan. Got a story for EN? Email Annie Byrne Follow us on Twitter and Instagram
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