Start-up costs for IMEX America have resulted in a loss after tax of £184k for Regent Exhibitions for the year ended 31 July 2011.
The group achieved a gross profit of £4m (on a turnover of £10.7m), which was a 2 per cent increase on the prior year, however administrative expenses were 33 per cent higher than 2010 at £3.7m.
Company director Ray Bloom said the consolidated figures included a two year lead up to the inaugural IMEX America, which took place at the Sands Expo Convention Centre in Las Vegas in October 2011.
“When you look at the overall group position, it’s strong,” he said. “IMEX in Frankfurt saw profit grow during the period, but bring in the costs of IMEX America and it’s depressed that profit. However, we’re extremely pleased with the result. It’s actually better than we thought because IMEX America was bigger than anticipated.”
The increased administrative expenses included £300k paid in management fees to IMEX America Exhibitions Inc and staff costs, which rose by 25 per cent to £2.6m, with the appointment of nine new members of staff during the year. A further £211k was paid out for a software development project, which was later aborted.
“We’ve expanded the company and taken on new staff so we’ve got staffing costs for two years. But it’s an annual show after that, so we have costs that won’t repeat themselves,” explained Bloom. “We had planned to develop new software but with IMEX America being larger and taking off much quicker than expected we decided to just update our existing software instead.”
The start-up costs impacted shareholders’ funds by 4 per cent, dipping slightly to £3.7m, but the balance sheet remains strong with a 54 per cent increase in cash at bank and in hand to £5.1m and net current assets up 6 per cent to £3.2m.
Said Bloom: “Year end for the group has changed to the end of December, so we have both shows in the same financial year. Looking ahead to that, we’re anticipating good results. The Frankfurt show is this month and is looking fine, then when we look forward to the whole year and bring in America 2012 - which is anticipated to grow in size by at least 25 per cent - it really is very strong.”
The 10th anniversary edition of the annual Frankfurt show takes place later this month (22-24 May) and is expected to welcome nearly 4,000 hosted buyers and 3,500 exhibitors from 157 countries.
Pictured: Ray Bloom