Informa PLC (LON:INF), the International Exhibitions, Events, Information Services and Scholarly Publishing Group, today released its financial results for the six months to 30 June 2019, reporting continued growth and performance, including the effective delivery of the 12-month Accelerated Integration Plan (“AIP”).
Key Financial and Operating Highlights1
· Strong revenue growth: +47.1% reported growth and +3.4% underlying, with a full period of UBM
· Improved Adjusted Operating Profit growth: +48.0% reported growth and 8.2% underlying
· Higher Statutory Operating Profit: +65.5% growth to £248.3m (H1 2018: £150.0m)
· Lower Adjusted Diluted Earnings per Share: 23.2p versus 24.6p in H1 2018, reflecting timing of UBM acquisition and issue of new shares in June 2018; comparable pro-forma EPS growth of +17.1%
· Enhanced Free Cash Flow: £306.4m versus £131.1m in H1 2018
· Efficient Balance Sheet: Reduction in net debt / EBITDA to 2.7x (H1 2018: 3.1x)
· Increased Interim Dividend: up +7.1% to 7.55p (H1 2018: 7.05p)
Stephen A. Carter, Group Chief Executive, said: “A year on from the acquisition of UBM, the enlarged Informa Group is performing to plan, delivering a further period of growth in revenue, adjusted operating profit, free cash flow and dividends.”
He added: “Our Advanced Learning businesses remain resilient, our Data, Information and Communities businesses are performing well, and despite previously identified headwinds in our Fashion and Middle East businesses, we continue to grow consistently in Events and Exhibitions. This puts us on track to deliver our targets for 2019 and provides a strong foundation for consistent future growth and performance.”
Performing to Plan across the Group, delivering H1 underlying revenue growth of 3.4%1:
· Informa Markets: Continued good growth, reflecting international reach and focus on major B2B brands with depth in attractive specialist markets; H1 pro-forma reported revenue growth of 8.4% and 4.4% underlying;
· Informa Connect: Continued focus on branded confexes and events in Life Sciences and Finance delivers further progress; H1 pro-forma reported revenue growth of 8.0% and 2.1% underlying;
· Informa Tech: Newly formed market-facing business performing well, ahead of seasonal uplift in the second half and the addition of IHS Markit’s TMT portfolio; H1 pro-forma reported revenue growth of 5.7% and 1.1% underlying;
· Informa Intelligence: Focus on subscriptions delivers strong renewals and steady new business momentum, complemented by valuable consulting and project work; H1 pro-forma reported revenue growth of 8.9% and 3.2% underlying;
· Taylor & Francis: Solid subscription renewals and strong momentum in open access delivers resilient performance against a tough comparable; H1 pro-forma reported revenue growth of 5.6% and 1.8% underlying.
Operational Performance to Plan: Operating as one Group, focusing on specialist markets
· AIP completed on schedule: One-year programme of combination and creation delivered on budget and on schedule. All teams combined, leadership confirmed, brands aligned and operating as one business. On track to deliver £50m cost synergies in 2019, with more than £20m realised in H1;
· Progressive Portfolio Management: Agreement for the divestiture of wealth management information business, IIS, announced today for up to $85m, subject to certain conditions, following on from previous sale of the Life Sciences Media Portfolio and the proposed agreement with IHS Markit for our Agribusiness Intelligence portfolio; programme of targeted disposals nearing completion, increasing the focus on core specialist markets with greatest opportunities for growth and expansion;
· Creation of Informa Tech: New market-focused business established, bringing together a portfolio of specialist brands and broad range of B2B products and services for the Technology industry; target to double underlying revenue growth within four years, supported by recent addition of IHS Markit’s portfolio of leading TMT research and information brands;
· Expansion in Premium Lifestyle: Extension and further strengthening of relationship with Principality of Monaco in Premium Lifestyle market, bringing together leading brands serving the International Yachting and Arts communities. Strong customer complementarity creates attractive opportunities for cross marketing and co-location initiatives;
· Purpose & Values: Launch of Brand platform for the enlarged Informa Group, including new guiding principles, a Group purpose focused around Championing the Specialist, and a refreshed visual identity for all five operating divisions and the Group;
· Board Strength in Depth: Appointment of Gill Whitehead as Non-Executive Director, bringing valuable digital, data and analytics expertise from roles at Google, Channel 4 and BBC Worldwide;
· Progressive Dividends: Strong free cash flow underpins ongoing commitment to attractive and growing dividends, with +7.1% growth in Interim Dividends per Share.
1In this document we refer to non-statutory measures including underlying and adjusted results, these are defined later in the Measurement and Adjustments section of the Financial Review.
Pro-forma results are provided to give a more comparable set of divisional figures in 2018. Pro-forma results are on a reported basis excluding the Life Sciences Media Brands Portfolio that was sold in January 2019 and including a full six months of UBM’s businesses which were acquired on 15 June 2018. These are provided for H1 2018 under the new divisional structure introduced in 2019.