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NEC Group grows revenue again in 2017–18

The Birmingham venues group grew turnover £4.4m, to £162.1m, boosted by new business and a healthy slate of live entertainment

By IQ on 17 Jul 2018

Arena Birmingham hosted the IAAF 2018 athletics championships

Arena Birmingham hosted the IAAF 2018 athletics championships

Birmingham-based NEC Group, which operates five of the UK’s leading arenas and large venues, posted another strong set of financial results in the financial year ending 31 March 2018, its third as a private company.

The group – which manages Arena Birmingham (15,800-cap.), Genting Arena (15,700-cap.), the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), the International Convention Centre (ICC) and Vox Conference Centre, all in Birmingham, as well as the Ticket Factory and catering company Amadeus – reported revenue of £162.1 million in 2017–18, up £4.4m (2.8%) on the previous year, when revenue rose 17.9% year on year.

Earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation (EBIDA) were £54.7m, an increase of £4.9m (9.8%).

The earnings growth is, says the company, a reflection of its strategy to broaden its range of events, as well as increasing use of customer data analytics to maximise new event opportunities.

Attendance at the group’s two arenas grew 17%, to over 1.6m, bolstered by performers including Drake, Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, Mickey Flanagan, John Bishop, Disney on Ice and Strictly Come Dancing.

“This has been another exceptional year as we see further benefits of what is now a proven strategy,” comments NEC Group CEO Paul Thandi. “We continue to use our market-leading insight drawn from a wealth of customer data to work with promoters and organisers to grow their shows and launch new content.

“We have a clear plan to expand the leisure offer on our sites, building on the success of Resorts World Birmingham and our fantastic range of consumer exhibitions and arena shows. The opening of two new Merlin Entertainments attractions later this year will be important milestones in the delivery of that plan.

“Our order books for events are at record levels”

“Our sporting credentials were reinforced in early 2018 when we hosted a season of international sport at Arena Birmingham, with the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships, the Yonex All-England Badminton Championships and Gymnastics World Cup. We look forward to showcasing those credentials on a global scale when we host the Commonwealth Games 2022.

“Extensive capital investment into our venues – £48m over the last three financial years – has focused on projects that improve customer experience and deliver earnings growth. This programme will continue into the current financial year with major changes to the NEC site as we continue our roll-out of digital screens and deliver a major facelift to our original exhibition halls.

“We have expanded our footprint further through securing the contract to operate the refurbished Bradford Odeon. We are proud to be working with Bradford Live and other partners to bring this historic building back to life as a unique live events venue.

“The whole team at NEC Group has delivered exceptionally over the three years since the buy-out of the business. Our order books for events are at record levels and we will continue to develop existing events and introduce new content and leisure attractions, growing our current audiences and creating new ones.

“We are now exceptionally well positioned for further growth and are targeting earnings growth of 10% year on year over the medium term. In addition, we are finalising the masterplan for the NEC campus alongside Birmingham City Council that will further enhance the NEC as a leading leisure destination alongside wider commercial use. The team remain excited at the continuing potential of the NEC campus and business.”


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