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Vaccines give Informa confidence that events will return in 2021

August Graham, PA City Reporter
·2-min read

Informa has said it has continued confidence that physical events will return through 2021 in North America and Europe.

The events organiser said that the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines was one of the things which made bosses think that people could start meeting up again for conferences.

The physical events sector has continued to recover in mainland China – the area where it was worst hit at the very beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The virus was first discovered in China, and in April Informa said that it had no events at all scheduled in the country.

Informa’s events unit makes up around 65% of its overall revenue, so the restrictions that were put in place across the globe had a huge impact on its business.

As people were forced to stay at home or at least not to travel, Informa switched as much as it could online, holding more than 500 virtual events, something chief executive Stephen Carter plans to build on.

“The Informa Group enters 2021 with an intention to use the progressive return from Covid-19 to deepen our use of digital and data services, thereby ensuring our products and brands remain relevant in a post pandemic world,” he said on Wednesday.

He added: “In our event-led businesses, in the absence of physical events in most regions, our brands and strong customer relationships enabled us to shift at speed to digital services and virtual events.”

The company expects full-year revenue to be in line with the guidance it provided in September, in a range of £1.65 billion yo £1.68 billion, and an adjusted operating profit of between £250 million and £270 million.

These results have been helped by the more than £600 million that the company plans to have saved through its cost management scheme by the end of the year.

Separately, the company announced that John Rishton, a former board member at both Unilever and Serco, will take over as chairman of Informa. He replaces Derek Mapp, who steps down in June.