World’s biggest exhibition organiser says 128 events on hold over Covid-19 fears

10 March 2020, 08:24

The CES technology convention 2019
CES technology convention 2019. Picture: PA

Informa said it expects to take a hit, although its intelligence division remains unaffected.

The world’s largest exhibitions organiser has revealed that 128 planned events have been cancelled or postponed.

Informa added the changed events, which have been moved due to the ongoing outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus, represented revenues worth £425 million.

The company, which hosts more than 500 events a year, is behind exhibitions including the China Beauty Expo and Monaco Yacht Show.

But it has suffered as companies and governments start calling off major gatherings to contain the spread.

Bosses added that, of the cancellations, 45 events were larger brands representing £350 million, 70 smaller ones worth £50 million, and 13 have re-phased biennial meetings or cancelled completely, at a cost of £25 million.

Chief executive Stephen Carter said: “We are facing a 2020 impact from Covid-19 in our events-related businesses and so 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.”

“As an international business, with colleagues and customers around the world, since January we have been closely following relevant national authority guidelines and advice, and putting in place support, communications and in-market response.”

He added that, in the 12 months to the end of 2019, revenues jumped 22% to £2.89 billion, with pre-tax profits up 13% to £318.7 million.

There was strong growth in Informa’s intelligence and information services, which account for around a third of revenues, and the company said it continues to build solid partnerships around the world.

The events-based division, which makes up around 65% of revenues, also had an impressive year, it said,

It added: “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.”

By Press Association

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