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Informa Subscriptions Businesses Trade Well; Sees Weak Revenues In FY20

Informa plc (INFMF.PK,INF.L), an Exhibitions, Events, Business Intelligence and Academic Publishing company, Friday reported that its subscriptions-related businesses, which accounted for about 35 percent of Group revenue in 2019, continue to trade well.

Events-related businesses, which accounted for about 65 percent of last year's revenue, have not traded any physical product in the two months since the first-quarter trading update, due to COVID-19.

For the year, the company said Group revenue is likely to be 2 billion pounds, which is lower than last year's 2.89 billion pounds. The company noted that, at the current pace and rate of recovery outside of China, the outcome for 2020 is likely to be somewhere between the Vigilant and Operating Case scenarios that were outlined earlier in the year. This outlook remains unpredictable, something reflected in the current range of market forecasts.

The company noted that 160+ brands have now been cancelled or rephased from 2020 to 2021, representing 300 million pounds in revenue. A further 300+ brands have committed to a digital rather than a physical event in 2020.

Further rescheduling of events within 2020 is unlikely given the volume of brands now scheduled in the final four months of the year, with limited remaining venue capacity available.

Looking forward, as expected, there is minimal physical product scheduled for June. However, the company now plans to run a number of major events in China from early July. China Beauty Expo in Shanghai is the first scheduled major Informa brand to be held on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In China, activity has picked up pace through the past month. In other regions, it remains a mixed picture, the company noted. Some locations are expected to take a lot longer to come out of the other side of COVID-19. In these markets, the company is deploying AllSecure biosafety measures as permission emerges to operate events.

In Informa's largest market, the United States, the company is now assuming a low probability that any physical events will run before September. Most brands due to run in July/August were either rescheduled, cancelled or switched to a fully digital event, including Blackhat, its major Cyber Security brand.

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