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Informa cashes in on rebound of global business events

Events and subscriptions firm Informa has seen its shares shoot up after lifting its full-year earnings outlook amid strong demand for in-person and online events.

The FTSE 100-listed company said it was upping its revenue guidance by about £100 million and its profits by £15 million for the full year.

It now expects to bring in revenues between £2.3 billion and £2.35 billion, and adjusted operating profits between £490 million and £505 million.

Shares in Informa moved up by more than 8% in early trading on Monday as investors cashed in on the optimistic outlook for the firm.

Informa said that it lifted its expectations after seeing strong performances of its live and on-demand events in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia, as well as growth in its academic markets.

The company, which organises hundreds of specialist business-to-business events every year, was forced to move events online during Covid.

But a resurgence in physical events in all major markets post-Covid, and an improvement in the quality of digital services, has helped give the company a boost this year.

Growth has been particularly strong in the US where business-to-business activity has returned “at pace”, which plays to the strengths of its brands, Informa said.

While China has retained stricter social restrictions with its zero-Covid policy, Informa said it expects to see growth in the nation as the market reopens into 2023.

Underlying revenue growth reached two fifths in the first 10 months of the year, and it expects it net debt for the full year to be close to zero.

The firm added that it has seen growth in its academic services, with demand for specialist knowledge increasing as more businesses invest in research, development and innovation.

Stephen Carter, the group’s chief executive, said: “Business-to-business market demand is growing across many industries and most geographies, with the current exception of China, which will provide incremental growth as it reopens.

“Informa and its brands are at the heart of this business-to-business market strength.”