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UBM says latest financials show strong trading

Publisher and event group UBM is reporting strong trading since the half year and that the company is on track to deliver significantly accelerated adjusted underlying revenue growth in annual events for the full year.

The September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem, CBME, Furniture China, World Routes and Black Hat shows all performed strongly in the third quarter. In October, CPhI Worldwide and its co-located pharma events also delivered a strong performance, the company reports. There was a decline in the fashion sector, however.

UBM reports the integration of Allworld is “progressing to plan” with performance “ahead of the business case”.

Life Sciences, the majority of which is in OMS, continues to experience softness as the industry adapts to changing market conditions in North America and drug approvals also remain slow.

A company statement on the results says that, since the half-year, two bolt-on acquisitions have been made in the fast-growing renewable energy and medical aesthetics sectors, both at attractive multiples. Total spend on bolt-on acquisitions in the year to date is £13.4m.

The UBM pipeline appears good with further deals expected to close before the end of the year.

During the period a small portfolio of UK assets was disposed of for £3.2m and further small disposals are being negotiated.

The UBM board says it is confident of a full year outturn at least in line with its expectations as communicated at the interim results. Those results in June noted group revenue up 18% at £448.4m, with events revenue growing 2.7%.

An updated dividend policy, which will apply from 2018, is to pay a progressive dividend centred around 2x cover through economic and biennial cycles and taking into consideration impact from currency movements.