Coronavirus: events organiser says 128 events disrupted

Informa hosts 500 events a year and says cancelling and postponing to cost £425m

The virus that causes Covid-19: companies and governments have been  calling off big  gatherings.  Photograph: National Institutes of Health/EPA

The virus that causes Covid-19: companies and governments have been calling off big gatherings. Photograph: National Institutes of Health/EPA

 

The world’s largest exhibitions organiser has revealed that 128 planned events have been cancelled or postponed. Informa added the changed events, which have been moved due to the ongoing outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus, represented revenues worth £425 million.

The company, which hosts more than 500 events a year, is behind exhibitions including the China Beauty Expo and Monaco Yacht Show.

But it has suffered as companies and governments start calling off major gatherings to contain the spread.

Bosses added that, of the cancellations, 45 events were larger brands representing £350 million, 70 smaller ones worth £50 million, and 13 have rephased biennial meetings or cancelled completely, at a cost of £25 million.

“We are facing a 2020 impact from Covid-19 in our events-related businesses and so we have used our strong customer and supplier relationships to swiftly deploy a material postponement programme, shifting our events calendar to later dates in 2020,” said chief executive Stephen Carter.

“Our brands and strong platforms continue to provide attractive opportunities for further market specialisation and future growth.”

“As an international business, with colleagues and customers around the world, since January we have been closely following relevant national authority guidelines and advice, and putting in place support, communications and in-market response.”

He added that, in the 12 months to the end of 2019, revenues jumped 22 per cent to £2.89 billion, with pretax profits up 13 per cent to £318.7 million.

There was strong growth in Informa’s intelligence and information services, which account for about one-third of revenues, and the company said it continues to build solid partnerships around the world.

The events-based division, which makes up about 65 per cent of revenues, also had an impressive year, it said,

It added: “The strength of our brands and customer relationships put us in a strong position to recover once the current disruption is past, but in 2020 all three events businesses will see an impact from Covid-19.” – PA