Hyve reports faster than anticipated recovery of in-person events, despite macro challenges

Global event organiser Hyve Group has reported a fast recovery of its in-person events, with some already surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

The Group released its 2022 interim results, 24 May, which showed revenue climbing to £56.6m (US$71.2m) in the six months to 31 March 2022, up from £5m for the same period a year earlier.

Profits before tax were lower at £9.5m (£29.4m in six months to 31 March 2021) partly due to insurance benefits having mostly come through the system. Net debt has improved to £64.4m from £92.4m and Group CEO Mark Shashoua (pictured), speaking to EW as the results were released, said that all Hyve’s markets were now open, China apart. Events in China are still being disrupted by reinstatement of Covid-19 restrictions, which also impact Chinese international travel.

Hyve’s continued orientation on mature Western markets and leading shows, rather than emerging markets, has turned the group into a very different beast, Shashoua said, describing the company as “unrecognisable” from five years ago.

The Group CEO reaffirmed Hyve's continuing emphasis on market leading high-quality events which was he said, driving customer spend and strong forward bookings.

He noted Hyve had de-risked its portfolio following its Russian market exit. Relatively quick disposals of shows there have followed the invasion of Ukraine, which Shashoua said made running any events there “untenable”.

“We worked hard to find buyers,” he noted. “Those [Russian] shows have a future and we got some value for our shareholders.”

Shashoua points to enhancing omnichannel strategy at the shows and said Hyve had run 21 events in the first half of this financial period. He picked out the performance of Shoptalk as a highlight – the biggest show in the group, and noted that customer spending across Hyve’s shows had continued to rise – from 7% last year to 15% in the current interim period under review for 2022.

Hyve’s Net Promoter Scores of +11 last year for exhibitions at the group’s shows, had risen to +32 this time round, the CEO noted, with visitor NPS also rising, from +14 to +27.

Shashoua said the group was now entering the second half of FY22 “with momentum and a streamlined portfolio of market-leading, omnichannel products, focused on high growth industries”.

He added in his commentary on the interim results: “Over the last six months we have, once again, had to respond to challenges outside of our control. Thanks to the hard work of our people around the world, not only did we successfully navigate these challenges, but we are now seeing a strong recovery and have moved significantly closer to our long-term vision, more quickly than expected. 

“Hyve is almost unrecognisable compared with just five years ago. Having evolved from a predominantly emerging markets business, today we have a de-risked portfolio of market leading events, mostly focused on the UK, US and European markets. As such, going forward our focus will be on sectors, rather than geographies. This is a significant shift for Hyve, but absolutely the right one for creating sustainable value for stakeholders.

“We continue to expand our brands by launching new products, such as Shoptalk Europe, Ahead by Bett, Green Energy Africa and the first in-person Fintech Meetup event, and applying new propositions, such as our facilitated meetings programmes. This innovation is crucial to our success, and we continue to invest in our future growth.

“We expect the strong momentum we have seen in the first half of the year to continue. Our in-person events are recovering faster than anticipated, with many having already fully recovered. Whilst there are clearly global economic and geopolitical headwinds, the Group is in a strong position with renewed confidence. This will serve Hyve well when navigating through any potential challenges.”