Pictured: SECC Hydro Arena
The Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre (SECC) in Glasgow achieved turnover of £29.4m in its strongest year to date for conference and corporate events business.
The venue’s financial results for the year ended 31 March 2016 also reported an increase in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to £3.8m, once the impact of the 2014 Commonwealth Games is deducted from last year's figures of £9.1m.
Peter Duthie, the venue's chief executive, said: “While not repeating the record levels of the previous year which were driven by the Commonwealth Games, these results are extremely encouraging with growth throughout the business. Over the past few years we have invested in the campus facilities, primarily in the construction of The SSE Hydro and related infrastructure and already are seeing the benefits. Trading profits will continue to be reinvested to ensure the existing facilities meet the needs of our customers in an increasingly competitive market.
“An overall vision for the business – to be the best event campus in Europe – has been adopted with the mission statement: ‘Best Venues, Best People, Best Events’. This vision and mission will drive the strategy for the group in the years to come”.
A record year for conferences saw 16 international events held and 18 per cent revenue growth for the sector. Turnover from exhibitions increased by 17 per cent over the previous year with six new shows added as well as a high retention level for established events.
In 2015 the venue was host to the All Energy exhibition and conference – the largest sustainable energy show in the UK.
The growth in the conference and exhibition sectors has in part been facilitated by greater space availability created by the majority of live entertainment activity moving into The SSE Hydro.
There was also a strong performance from the company’s events subsidiary, QD Events, which added to its show portfolio during the period and increases were recorded in commercial income with additional sponsorship agreements signed during the year.
The economic impact generated by the SECC increased in Glasgow by more than 7 per cent, in Scotland by more than 23 per cent and the UK by 46 per cent from the previous year’s report. As a result of the business conducted by SECC during the year - which delivered 1.8 million visitors - the net additional expenditure in Glasgow was estimated at £411m, in Scotland £308m and in the UK £240m.
In line with this, a feasibility study has been commissioned to establish viable options for upgrading and enhancing the campus, principally to facilitate further growth in the conference and exhibition sectors.