Events group ITE hit by currency woes but forecasts leap in sales

EVENTS group ITE yesterday said foreign exchange rates had hit its bottom line this year, although the firm’s sales are due to be in line with market expectations.

The group, which organises exhibitions and conferences in developing markets and is reliant on Europe and Russia, said the pound’s strength against the euro and ruble had meant sterling yields were on average six per cent lower than last year.

However, ITE, which organises around 200 exhibitions and conferences each year in 14 countries, said it still anticipates a 9.6 per cent rise in annual turnover to £170m when it reports yearly results in December.

The group added that trading in the last three months had been in line with the rest of the year, with ITE’s two biggest events being fashion trade show MODA at Birmingham’s NEC, and World Food Moscow, Russia’s premier food show. Both shows saw increases in revenue and attendance, meaning trading over the final quarter saw revenue of £27m, up 10 per cent on last year.

“Results for the fourth quarter have continued to reflect positive trading conditions, with good regional growth despite increasing currency headwinds,” the company said.

Shares in ITE, which have quadrupled since 2009, dipped slightly yesterday on the currency warnings, although the group’s shares are still seen as being undervalued by analysts.

“[ITE] continues to experience good levels of organic growth and to generate strong cash balances... which will allow the group to continue to further develop and expand its business,” the company said.