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TOP NEWS: Informa beats 2023 profit expectations; lifts 2024 guidance

8th Mar 2024 08:42

(Alliance News) - Informa PLC on Friday lifted guidance for the year ahead after reporting a jump in profit and revenue in 2023.

The London-based business information publisher and events organiser said pretax profit more than doubled in 2023 to GBP492.1 million from GBP168.8 million in 2022.

Adjusted operating profit rose 72% to GBP853.8 million from GBP496.3 million the year before. This was ahead of Informa's guidance in November of GBP840 million, which in turn had been raised from GBP790 million guidance earlier last year.

The improved profitability was driven by a 41% climb in annual revenue to GBP3.19 billion from GBP2.26 billion, which Informa said resulted from strong momentum and growth across its divisions.

On the back of the results, nearly doubled its annual dividend by 84% to 18.0 pence per share from 9.80p a year ago. This included a final dividend of 12.2p, up from 6.8p a year before.

Looking ahead to 2024, Informa said it is targeting high single-digit revenue growth, double-digit growth in adjusted operating profit and a further increase in operating margin. It guided revenue of GBP3.45 billion to GBP3.50 billion, adjusted operating profit of GBP950 million to GBP970 million, and free cash flow of more than GBP720 million.

Commenting on the results, Chief Executive Stephen Carter said: "Informa's final results confirm further outperformance in 2023 and continuing momentum and growth in 2024.

"Strong growth in [India, Middle East & Africa], which is emerging as a material geographic growth engine alongside the Americas, China, ASEAN, and Europe, leads to updated 2024 guidance. We are expanding our platform in B2B Digital Services through the proposed combination with TechTarget. And we are delivering further strong shareholder returns in 2024, including continuing dividend growth and a minimum of GBP340 million of in-year share buybacks."

Shares in Informa were up 1.7% at 819.00 pence each in London on Friday morning.

By Sabrina Penty, Alliance News reporter

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