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DMGT Group revenues up 3% in five months to March but Covid-19 impacting events 

Global event organiser and media group DMGT Group has reported its revenues for the five months to 29 February 2020 were up 3% on an underlying basis, in line with expectations, with a solid performance across B2B and Consumer Media. Exhibition and events revenues for the period were strong but the company warns of impending negative impact from Covid-19.
Paul Zwillenberg, CEO, commented: “I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all our employees, customers, business partners and their families for their amazing work, flexibility and loyalty at this difficult time. 
“The health and wellbeing of everyone who produces or consumes our products is paramount and we are committed to doing everything we can to keep them all safe. These are not normal times, but I have been truly inspired by the ability of all DMGT’s companies to adapt to the current restrictions and maintain their standards of excellence. We are determined to continue to deliver our compelling journalism, information, analysis, insight and events to our loyal customers.” 
Zwillenberg went on to add that the impact of Covid-19 was likely to affect the business adversely. “I am confident, however, that the Group’s diversified portfolio and strong financial position, with more than £700m (US$834m) of cash and bank facilities available, will enable us to withstand a sustained period of global economic uncertainty and continue to invest through the cycle,” the CEO said.
The pre-close trading update on the impact of Covid-19 ahead of DMGT’s half-year end on 31 March pointed to a strong balance sheet: pro forma net cash £155m at 29 February 2020; and £374m committed undrawn bank facilities.

Events and exhibitions contributed 13% to the group’s revenues and showed growth of 10% over the past five months, the latest update revealed. This business accounted for 8% of group revenues in 2019.

The DMGT statement continued: “At this stage, the severity and duration of the impact of Covid-19 and the escalating measures to control it are unclear, with a range of possible outcomes. Although there has been limited impact on the group’s performance to date, we have started to see the effects, notably on our Events and Exhibitions and Consumer Media businesses, and the financial performance in FY 2020 is now likely to be lower than the existing guidance. We consider it prudent to suspend the guidance at this stage and will provide an update at the Half Year results on 28 May 2020.”

DMGT added that part of the impact on profits from event cancellations and postponements would be covered by insurance.
dmg events said that it would benefit from timing, with two of its three largest events having already been held in November 2019 and the third, Gastech, scheduled to be held in Singapore in September 2020. 

FY 2020 was expected to have a similar revenue profile to FY 2019, when 59% fell in the five months to February, 12% in the six months from March to August and 29% in September, but this may change.