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Events group Informa increases share buyback, upbeat on annual profit

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(Reuters) -Events organiser Informa more than doubled its share buyback programme to 725 million pounds ($880.4 million) on Thursday and forecast annual sales and profit at the upper end of its outlook range, sending its shares about 6% higher.

The British company said demand for live events in its North American and European markets had been stronger than anticipated, with rebooking numbers back at pre-pandemic levels.

The London-listed group also highlighted an easing of restrictions https://www.reuters.com/world/china/chinas-consumers-keep-their-wallets-lockdown-covid-curbs-ease-2022-06-07 in mainland China in recent weeks and said it expects to resume business events in the region from the third quarter.

"We welcome the progressive reopening of mainland China whilst continuing to monitor broader market fluctuations and macro volatility," Chief Executive Officer Stephen Carter said.

"Notwithstanding these external factors, we are confident in our ability to deliver on our forward growth ambitions," he added.

Informa now expects full-year adjusted operating profit and revenue at the upper end of 470 million pounds to 490 million pounds, and 2.15 billion pounds to 2.25 billion pounds, respectively.

Shares in the company, whose previous buyback programme was worth 300 million pounds, pared some gains to trade 3.1% higher at 528.8 pence.

($1 = 0.8235 pounds)

(Reporting by Muhammed Husain and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Shailesh Kuber)

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