Financial News

Audited annual results for the year ended 31 December 2014

Headline revenue growth up 15%, EBITDA up 24%

Accelerated growth thanks to improving customer satisfaction and retention as well as acquisitions of Stylesight and Money 20/20

London, 27 May 2015: Top Right Group, the global business-to-business media group, today announced its financial results for 2014, reporting Group revenue of £312.7 million, a headline growth of 15% and an organic* growth rate of 9%.

Duncan Painter, Chief Executive, Top Right Group, said: “Our three year turnaround plan is now complete. Our businesses have effective growth strategies in place and clear operating priorities. I am delighted to announce that we have again grown our client base and further improved customer satisfaction and retention to industry-leading levels.

“Our 2014 revenues were above £300m for the first time and as results from earlier acquisitions and internal investments in systems and technology come through, I am particularly pleased to report a substantial growth in profits, with EBITDA increasing by 24% headline (27% organic*), a significant acceleration over previous years.”

Financial highlights

FY 2014

FY 2013

Revenue

£312.7m

£271.4m

Headline revenue growth

15%

12%

Organic* revenue growth

9%

9%

EBITDA

£85.3m

£68.8m

International revenues as % of total

48%

44%

Top Right Group has three business segments: Events, Information Services and Subscription Content. Events, the largest segment, delivered revenue growth of 14% organic, with particularly strong international performances from Cannes Lions, Bett and CWIEME. The digital Information Services segment grew 6% organic, led by WGSN and Groundsure. The Subscription Content segment also grew 6% organic, led by continued growth of subscription services to its professional membership and accelerated growth of its digital and live events revenues.

Operational highlights:

  • Launched three major products:
  • new WGSN.com – combining the best of WGSN and Stylesight;
  • Lions Health – a new festival serving the healthcare communications industry; and
  • HSJ Intelligence – EMAP’s largest data product to date.
  • Launched four events in new geographies:
  • Pure, Shanghai;
  • CWIEME, Shanghai;
  • Retail Congress China; and
  • Bett Leadership Summit Asia
  • Acquired Money20/20, the leading event in payments and financial services innovation.

 

Tom Hall, Partner Apax and Chairman Top Right Group, said: "This is a robust performance by the Group and all segments performed well. In 2012 and 2013 we supported significant investments in Top Right Group to provide better customer service and create market leading products - these are starting to pay off and will continue to drive the Group’s growth.”

Andrew Miller, Chief Executive, Guardian Media Group, said: “The business has again delivered another year of sustained progress. Its customer methodologies and sophisticated analytics have continued to serve the business well, driving growth through a combination of new products and higher customer loyalty.” 

Looking at each segment of the Group’s business in more detail:
 

Events: This segment comprises i2i Events Group and Lions Festivals and generated revenues of £141.5m (2013: £121.3m). The Events segment achieved success in 2014 through:

The primary drivers of growth were:

  • Strong performances across global flagship brands of Cannes Lions, Bett and CWIEME, including four launches in Asia;
  • Growth in major UK shows driven by improved products, higher attendee quality and our strategy to re-book more customers on-site for the following year’s event thus allowing increased sales resource to be focused on generating new business;
  • Expansion of the i2i partnership with UK Trade & Investment, which now covers 14 events worldwide;
  • Launching Lions Health, which became the biggest global health communications awards event in its first year; and
  • Exceptional growth in Money20/20, the leading event for payment and financial services innovation. The 2014 edition grew 137% and welcomed a record 8,000 attendees.

 

Information Services: The digital Information Services segment comprises WGSN, Planet Retail and the 4C businesses of MEED Projects, Glenigan, Groundsure and DeHavilland. Each transforms data into high-quality, industry-specific business intelligence that is delivered primarily through digital subscription products. It generated revenues of £92.8m (2013: £75.0m) and grew 6% on an organic basis, led by:

  • WGSN customer retention up 4% to 87% and Planet Retail at over 90%;
  • 22% growth in Groundsure;
  • MEED Projects’ expansion into new sectors and territories, particularly East Africa; and
  • Launch of a suite of improved, integrated and innovative new WGSN services.

In 2014, WGSN completed its integration with Stylesight to better serve its customers worldwide. The business also saw strong traction with the new WGSN INstock product, increased demand for the WGSN Lifestyle & Interiors product and launched WGSN Mindset, its new consultancy business, offering customers unique access to over 160 industry experts around the world. 

 

Subscription Content: The Subscription Content segment comprises EMAP and the Media Business Insight business (the latter having been sold in January 2015). It generated revenues of £78.4m (2013: £75.1m), delivering organic growth of 6%.

EMAP performed strongly throughout the year and the primary drivers for growth were:

  • Continued growth of subscribers, up 1,600 year on year;
  • Accelerated growth of its digital and live events revenues, with Award entries up 15%; and
  • Launch of HSJ Intelligence, a significant new high value digital membership product.

EMAP’s digital and events revenue lines have shifted from just 34% of revenues in 2008 to 59% of revenues in 2014 in line with customer demand and need.

Top Right Group’s core focus is to accelerate growth of its portfolio businesses. It aims to attract and retain more customers through better customer service and to increase the number of knowledgeable, trusted products and services they rely on the Group to provide.

Duncan Painter concludes:  “Our focus for 2015 is very simple – Improving our products and how we provide them, to ensure they deliver what our customers tell us is important to them.”

On 28 April 2015, Top Right Group’s parent company refinanced its borrowing facilities to improve terms and extend maturities. The new facilities have no maintenance covenants, mature in April 2022 and are expected to lead to a significant saving in interest payments. The refinancing also provided for a £75m revolving credit facility.

www.topright-group.com

Ends

For more information, please contact:
Jane Windsor, Director of Corporate Communications, Top Right Group, jane.windsor@topright-group.com or +44 (0)7775 523156

 

Notes to editor:

*  Organic growth is calculated at constant currency and pro-forma for acquisitions and disposals assuming a transaction date in each case of 1 January 2013 

i2i Events Group and Lions Festivals organise around 40 face-to-face exhibitions, congresses and festivals, jointly attracting more than 270,000 exhibitors, sponsors, delegates and visitors who come together to learn, network, buy, sell, be inspired and celebrate.

Information Services’ products provide insight, analysis and forecasting tools primarily for customers in the fashion and style, retail, construction and environment end-markets.

The Subscription Content segment creates high-value business information for its targeted membership of professionals through 15 brands in the United Kingdom and the Middle East.  Customers buy content products delivered across digital and mobile platforms as well as a variety of other media channels including live events and print. 

By continuing to use the site you agree to our cookies policy . Accept