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Ascential celebrates strong revenue growth as loss narrows

22nd Sep 2023 10:06

(Alliance News) - Ascential PLC on Friday reported strong organic revenue growth in its latest half year, particularly from its Events division, and said strategic plans to help ensure long-term success are "well advanced."

The business-to-business media and events company reported a pretax loss of GBP11.8 million in the first half of 2023, compared with a GBP41.6 million loss the year before.

Group revenue meanwhile increased 16% on an organic basis to GBP307.4 million from GBP260.7 million. Events revenue, comprising Ascential's Marketing and Retail & Financial Services segments, increased 25% to GBP136.1 million from GBP114.4 million.

Ascential's smaller businesses also saw growth, with Digital Commerce revenue increasing 10% to GBP114.1 million, and Product Design revenue up 8% to 57.2 million.

"Our businesses have continued to trade strongly in the first half of 2023," said Chief Executive Officer Duncan Painter. "In particular, both Cannes Lions and Money20/20 enjoyed extremely successful editions in June and have progressed even further ahead of their pre-pandemic benchmarks."

London-based Ascential said its organic revenue growth rate, which eliminates the impact of disposals, foreign exchange rates and acquisitions newer than 12 months, is the most efficient measure to track growth and the company's underlying health.

Ascential did not declare an interim dividend for 2023, unchanged from last year when it prioritised acquisition spending. No dividends were paid in 2020 or 2021 due to the impact of Covid-19 on cash flow.

Ascential reported a "solid start" to the second half of 2023, and said strategic actions to position its businesses for long-term success "are well advanced".

"Despite continued macro uncertainty impacting the industries we serve and currency headwinds, our businesses remain well set for the year, supported by multiple growth levers," Painter commented. "The structural long-term growth in our end markets, and the success of our marquee events, underpins the board's confidence in the prospects of our businesses for the future."

Shares in Ascential were up 7.2% at 204.00 pence in London on Friday.

By Emma Curzon, Alliance News reporter

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