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Melbourne centre reports 17 per cent rise in business visitors

Venue attracts 980 business events and 850,000 delegates in 2015-16, resulting in £44m in revenue as expansion work begins

Pictured: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has reported £44m in revenues for 2015-16

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has reported revenues of AUD$77 million (£44m), the fourth consecutive year profits have risen, as expansion work begins on the venue.

The Australian venue says it helped generate $1 billion (£545m) in economic impact for 2015-16, after attracting 980 events. The number of business event visitors also rose 17.4 per cent, reaching 849,677.

The results come as MCEC kicks off a $210m (£119m) expansion project which will increase its total size to more than 70,000 sqm. Work started in June, and is expected to be finished early 2018.

Meanwhile, Melbourne's rival city Sydney is due to re-acquire a main convention centre when the International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney opens in December.

MCEC chief executive Peter King said expansion plans would help ensure future growth for the venue, with revenue expected to increase a further 80 per cent by 2022.

"We are building to increase our flexibility and to offer even more multi-purpose spaces in which events will be delivered to the same professional MCEC standards that the industry and community currently enjoys.”

King added: "Operating a venue such as MCEC is about much more than simply hosting events. We need to provide tailored, personalised solutions for our customers that exceed expectations and deliver truly unique and memorable experiences. 

"The professionalism, maturity and capability that we have within MCEC to innovate, adapt and create opportunities for our customers underpins this extraordinary result.”

"The fact that we continue to exceed our targets whilst investing more heavily in employee training, safety, security and reducing our environmental footprint is a credit to our entire MCEC team."

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