Events and training venue company, etc.venues, has posted sales to June 30 2011 of £17.6m, up 12 per cent on the previous year, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) up six per cent to £4.6m.
Managing director Alastair Stewart said: “We’re pretty pleased with the results, particularly as we’ve opened three new venues during that period (in Moorgate, Paddington and Victoria) and we have been paying down our debt, which is under £1m now, which gives the company great strength."
Stewart said the company was now forecasting sales growth to £20m this financial year.
“We’re in the sweet spot for business right now. I think it boils down to the fact we’ve got the right product in the right place at the right time. We’re city centre venues, non-residential and primarily London-based. We’re a value for money product and focus on meetings and business events – that’s the only thing we do. There are no kids, tourists, weddings or overnight stays, so it’s very appealing to that target market.”
“We’d like to keep growing and open one to two venues per year. There are still opportunities for us in London and other primary regional cities. We’ve picked up some dissatisfaction with clients about some of the larger conference venues looking a bit tired in the 400 person capacity market, so that’s an area we’re looking at.”
Meanwhile, etc.venues has secured its first Olympic-related business, with a Japanese sports company taking exclusive use of its West End venue for a month during the Games. “We’re waiting for the second and third tier of companies looking at setting up in London,” Stewart added. “But most of the venues are going to be open for business as normal.”
Pictured: Alastair Stewart